Raymond Nkhata, the only Member of Parliament (MP) to have won a seat on People’s Party (PP) ticket, has declared that he will challenge Vice-President Khumbo Kachali in the race for the Mzimba South West Constituency seat as an independent candidate.
Nkhata succeeded Kachali in an October 2012 by-election after Kachali lost the parliamentary seat by virtue of his appointment as Vice-President.
In an interview yesterday, Nkhata said: “I have decided to stand as an independent candidate because the Vice-President has also indicated that he will contest on a People’s Party ticket.
“In December, the Vice-President informed me that he decided to stand. He told me that I would claim the seat in a by-election after the general elections. Now, I wondered how he wanted to stand.”
During the party’s nomination, Nkhata withheld his nomination, stating that he wanted to observe some developments as Kachali expressed interest to contest as MP for Mzimba South West.
Kachali campaigned vigorously for Nkhata in the by-election which he triumphed.
Nkhata is the only MP to be elected on a PP ticket since its formation in 2011. All the other MPs belonging to the party defected after it became the governing outfit following then vice-president Joyce Banda’s ascendency to the presidency in line with constitutional order after the death of former president Bingu wa Mutharika.