Newly-elected Lilongwe City Council deputy mayor Juliana Kaduya has gone into hiding, alleging that a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) senior member has threatened her for messing up mayoral votes last week.
Speaking from her undisclosed hideout, Kaduya claimed she started receiving the threats as soon as she was declared winner of the deputy mayor’s position.
“When the elections were over, I got a call from a very senior DPP regional officer telling me that they will deal with me for messing up the votes. I was one of the people who left [the venue of the elections] late and had to hire a police escort,” she said.
According to Kaduya, she has not told the police because she is afraid that people may know where she is and harm her.
“I have not reported the matter to police because I was also told during the phone call that they own the police and that there is nothing I can do,” she said
But DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila trashed Kaduya’s claims, saying she needs to go to the police for help.
“I don’t have any information. Who is threatening her and why is she not reporting to police? She knows what to do,” he said.
Commenting on the issue, Central Region Police spokesperson Kingsley Dandaula yesterday said he was not aware of the issue.
He said police can only act when a formal complaint has been lodged.
Last week, DPP lost Lilongwe City Council mayoral elections when Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate business tycoon Desmond Bikoko won the poll by 15 to 14 votes against DPP’s Kwame Bandawe. Two decider votes were declared null and void.
Soon after presiding officer Lilongwe City Council chief executive officer Moza Zeleza declared the winners, senior DPP officials allegedly hurled threats at Kaduya and Chiwoko Ward councillor Katondoli Nyirenda, accusing them of betrayal.
Blantyre and Mzuzu city councils are holding their mayoral elections today whereas in Zomba, mayoral elections will not be held following government’s directive that the incumbent, Melia Likoswe Douglas, should see out a full term.
She was elected last year following the death of Joana Ntaja.n