Deputy Minister of Finance Cornelius Mwalwanda and People’s Party (PP) deputy secretary general Frank Mwenifumbo have hailed President Joyce Banda for cancelling Karonga Central Constituency primary election rerun, saying the directive saved people’s lives.
PP decided to conduct a rerun on Saturday after Mwenifumbo challenged results of the primaries in which Mwalwanda emerged winner.
Mwenifumbo complained to the party that his supporters were barred from voting while others were threatened.
A day before the failed rerun, there were fears of violence such that chiefs warned the party against holding the polls, forcing the President and the party to call it off.
Speaking in separate interviews with The Nation on Tuesday both Mwenifumbo and Mwalwanda welcomed the decision, arguing people’s lives were at risk.
Mwenifumbo said it would not be ideal to hold a rerun when there were fears of bloodshed.
“Chiefs warned that there would be bloodshed and as a leader, I wouldn’t want to be associated with that. I respect the President and the party for ensuring that the rerun never took place,” said Mwenifumbo.
He added that it was high time he and the party moved on on the matter.
Mwenifumbo said his role and that of his rival should be to sensitise supporters to evils of violence.
“Mwalwanda and I should be the first to ensure peace in the constituency. There is also need for chiefs, organisations and other stakeholders to promote peace in the area.
“The constituency is rated as the most violent and some people celebrate the development and call it Benghazi,” said Mwenifumbo.
Mwalwanda said cancelling the rerun spared people and their property, noting elections in the constituency are characterised by violence.
“I thank God for being kind enough to spare Karonga Central of bloodshed that could have occurred,” said Mwalwanda.