Divisions refuse to die in Malawi Congress (MCP), that some sitting members of Parliament (MPs) have asked the party to re-run primary elections in four constituencies.
In a memo Nation on Sunday has seen, the party has called for a re-run of primary elections in Kasungu South East, Dedza Central East, Mchinji North and Mchinji North East.
But some MPs in the party have said the primaries need to be re-run in eight other constituencies as well, or else the whole exercise should be dismissed.
About eight sitting MPs, who opted for anonymity for fear of reprisals, told Nation on Sunday that the whole exercise is a sham. They said there is need for it to be reviewed because there were so many irregularities.
“We are sad to note that the party decided to hold re-runs only in these four constituencies when we all know that we have other constituencies where primaries were not even done, yet people were declared winners,” said one of the MPs.
He further said their wish is for the primaries to be re-run in Dowa Ngala, Kasungu South East, Lilongwe South East, Lilongwe Mpenu, Lilongwe Msozi, Lilongwe Mapuyu North and Mchinji South.
The party’s deputy spokesperson Ezekiel Ching’oma confirmed, in an interview on Friday, that the manner in which primaries have been conducted, especially in the Central Region, is strange.
He said it appears as if some individuals have hijacked the system and want to run things the way they want.
“The rumour that some individuals in the party would like re-runs in some constituencies is true, but I have to make it clear that it is not the decision of the party. Those are wishes of individuals. Frankly speaking, there is no constituency in the Central Region where losers accepted the results and if, as a party, we were to do re-runs, it means we have to start all over,” said Ching’oma.
At the onset of the primaries in August about 23 parliamentary aspirants took the party to court alleging that it is being undemocratic and unconstitutional in how it is handling primary elections.
Among others, the members are complaining that the party has not come out with a clear and formal communication on specific dates, venues and other relevant information on the primaries.
According to lawyer a representing the 23, Powell Nkhutabasa, they are waiting for judgement on the matter on a day to be announced by the courts.
Livingstonia University political scientist George Phiri has since described the situation as bad which in the end can cost the party.
He said poor planning of how to hold the elections is the major reason there are misunderstandings.
“This shows lack of coordination and preparedness. To do a re-run is costly for the party, which will affect the general elections. There was need for proper coordination and understanding so that things work,” said Phiri.
The MCP primaries have been marred with controversies and violence to the extent that in some constituencies, such as Dedza East, they had to be postponed.
Heavyweights that have flopped in the primaries include Joseph Njobvuyalema, Makala Ngozo and Alekeni Menyani.