Mchinji, : Frustration has driven eight Malawi Congress Party (MCP) sitting ward councillors in Mchinji to run as independents in the forthcoming tripartite polls.
The concerned councillors have voiced out their displeasure in the way the main opposition party (MCP) conducted its primary elections last year in which the said ward councillors emerged as losers.
One of the councillors, Nathan Ndhlamin of Mkoma Ward in Mchinji Central Constituency said in an interview on Tuesday that his supporters have asked him to stand as an independent.
My decision is being driven by three main reasons. Firstly, many people in my ward have requested me to stand. Secondly, I want to ensure that justice takes its course and lastly, I am exercising my political rights, he said.
Ndhlamin, who once served as chairperson for Mchinji District Council, was defeated in the primary elections by a female aspirant, Martha Dzanja.
Another councillor, Edison Josiah of Msitu Ward in Mchinji South Constituency who also served as a council chairperson, claimed he is liked by his supporters, hence his resolve to contest on independent ticket.
Josiah said he was confident of reclaiming the local council seat because people in his area appreciate the development projects he has implemented during his tenure of office.
Commenting on the matter, MCP Publicity Secretary, Maurice Munthali said the party is not barring any person from contesting as an independent candidate, saying people are free to exercise their political right.
When a party conducts primary elections, it expects one candidate to emerge as a winner among the contestants. Most of the times people decide to contest as independents when they feel like the elections were marred with anomalies, he said.
Munthali, however, said the party is appealing to all MCP members who choose to stand as independent candidates to avoid splitting presidential votes.
Other sitting councillors who will stand as independent candidates are Lawrence Mponda (Nanjiwa Ward in Mchinji South Constituency), Boston Kasonjola (Kapiri Ward in Mchinji North East Constituency), Benes Chikutu (Mponda Ward in Mchinji North East Constituency), Auleriano Kalemba (Mtope Ward in Mchinji Central Constituency).
Others are Haile Tsilizani (Luwerezi Ward in Mchinji North Constituency) and Aaron Kaweche (Mchemani Ward in Mchinji North Constituency).
Source: MANA Online