High tempers, protests and chaotic scenes characterised Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) primaries in Mzimba South Constituency on Saturday with some contestants claiming irregularities.
While PP primaries failed to take place in Mzimba Central following disagreements over voting criteria, Raymond Nkhata emerged winner at the heavily contested Mzimba South primaries.
Nkhata (37), who is an internal auditor at the Malawi Rural Finance Company, beat eight other contestants at primaries held at Belele Primary School football ground at Edingeni, some 14 kilometres away from Paramount Chief Mâ€™mbelwa IV headquarters.
He got 393 votes in an election that was almost marred by protests following misunderstandings over alleged mismatched zone figures and voting forms.
The chaotic situation prior to the primaries also led to the last-minute withdrawal of lead contestant James Nthara.
But Nthara said in an interview on Sunday he pulled out of the race after noting that there were too many aspirants.
Revival Mazunda came second in the primaries with 272 votes while Tikhome Franklin Phiri was third with 215 votes. The only lady candidate, Beauty Banda, came fourth with 82 votes. Other contestants were former Aford MP Johnston Langa, Djeromey Lukhere, Edward Malinga, Emmanuel Luthuli Chipeta and Symon Banda.
PP publicity secretary Steve Mwenye said although some problems emerged prior to the vote, the situation normalised and the elections went on as planned.
PP was holding primaries to identify candidates to contest in by-elections scheduled for October 9 to replace Khumbo Kachali in Mzimba South following his appointment as Vice-President in the Joyce Banda administration. Mzimba Central fell vacant following Professor Donton Mkandawireâ€™s death.