There were some reported cases of violence more especially in Milonde Ward in Mulanje, but according to Southern Region Civic Education Officer Enock Chinkhuntha, the actual voting process was both peaceful and orderly.
“No polling centre was opened later than 6:10 am in both wards and the voting process proceeded with no hitches. This clearly shows that Malawi Electoral Commission did its homework well and as NICE we commend them for this. If we can sustain this, would be assured of smooth elections in 2019,” said Chinkhuntha.
Meanwhile the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the United Democratic Front continue to celebrate their respective victories in the by-elections.
UDF candidate Kassim Limamu won the Malindi Ward by-election after beating Malawi Congress Party (MCP), People’s Party (PP) candidates and one independent.
Limamu amassed 2,735 votes beating with a wide margin his close contender, MCP’s Ambrose Hamisi, who pulled 1,060 votes while PP’s Hassan Chikuta got 878 votes and Independent George Chiwaula trailed far behind with 530.
A total of 5,287 votes were cast in seven centres namely, Sungusya, Malindi, Makumba, Mtengeza, Mdala Makumba, Taliya and Chipereka and out of the cast votes, 5,203 were valid while 83 were null and void, according to the election’s Ward Returning Officer, Chipiliro Masamba.
While in Milonde Ward, a DPP candidate Mike Skinner bagged 2719 votes while his MCP contender Donata Nyanga came a distant second with 531 votes. There were also three independent candidates, namely; Mabvuto Michael, Leo Roy Pangani and Cidreck Somanje.
Skinner took a considerable lead in all four centres of Milonde, Misyoni, Mpala and Chimwaza Primary Schools.
Speaking to MBC soon after presiding officers announced the unofficial results, DPP Regional Governor for the South Charles Mchacha, described the victory as a warning shot to their 2019 hottest contenders, MCP.
“In these by-elections, we were simply trying to tell the MCP that they have a very small dancing space, in as far as politics is concerned, in this country. When we are saying its Operation Landslide in 2019, we mean it,” said Mchacha.
DPP did not field a candidate in Mangochi in respect to their partners Parliamentary, UDF.