50-50 campaign not achieved; just 44 women MPs voted in

By Duncan Mlanjira

Out of the 192 Members of Parliament voted into the august House, only 44 are women, defeating the 50-50 campaign that was rigorous conducted across the country by various civil society organizations in conjunction with Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare.

Of the 44 women MPs, DPP has 18 representatives, 14 are independents, MCP has 9, UDF has 2 while UTM has one.

Chazama out

The women MPs for DPP are Martha Mzomera Chiuluntha-Ngwira (Mzimba Hora); Martha Lunji Mhone Chanjo (Nkhotakota North East); Esther Asumani Majaza (Mchinji North East); Francesca Theula Masamba (Mangochi East); Victoria Kingstone (Mangochi Central); Fyness Magonjwa (Mangochi South East); Lonnie Chijere Phiri (Zomba Chingale); Grace Kwelepeta (Zomba Malosa); Susan Kacholopa Ndalama (Blantyre Rural East) and Joyce Chitsulo (Mwanza West).

The others are Thoko Matengambiri Tembo (Neno North); Mary Chisomo Navicha Thom (Thyolo Thava); Mary Connie Livuza Mpanga (Phalombe South); Anna Andrew Kachikho (Phalombe North); Naomi Kilekwa (Mulanje South East); Ebbie Mathanda (Mulanje Pasani); Gladys Ganda (Nsanje Lalanje); Bertha Mackenzie Ndebele (Balaka West) and Esther Mcheka Chilenje (Nsanje North).

Ndalama in

The MCP candidates are Catherine Gotani Hara (Mzimba North East); Olipa Chimangeni (Ntchisi North East); Halima Alima Daud (Dowa South East); Rachel Patience Mazombwe (Mchinji North); Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma (Mchinji South); Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda (Kasungu South East); Liana Kakhobwe Chapota (Mulanje North); Jean Muonaowuza Sendeza (Lilongwe South West) and Abida Sidik Mia (Chikwawa Mkombezi).

The independents are Ireen Mambala (Balaka South); Wezie Gondwe (Mzimba East); Jacqueline Chikuta (Ntchisi North); Esther Cecilia Kathumba (Mapuyu South); Monica Chang’anamuno (Lilongwe North); Nancy Tembo (Lilongwe City South West); Nancy Chaola (Ntcheu Bwanje North); Roseby Gama Gadama (Zomba Thondwe); Abigail Shariff Bongwe (Zomba Likangala); Gertrude Nankhumwa (Blantyre Kabula); Lyana Lexa Tambala (Mulanje North); Susan Dossi  (Chikhwawa West) and Eurita Ntiza Valeta (Nsanje South West).

Carol Mdala voted in as counselor

For UDF are Lilian Estella Patel (Mangochi South); Aisha Annie Adams (Mangochi Nkungulu); Esther Jolobala (Machinga East); while UTM has Chrissie Kanyaso (Nkhata Bay North).

According to MEC, a total of 6,827,383 registered as voters and a total of 5,070,948 voters cast their votes representing 74.27% turnout. A total of 4,967,774 were valid votes and 103,174 were null and void which represents 1.51%.

MEC also gave a 50 percent discount on nomination fees for women and persons with disabilities and 25 percent discount for the youth which the 50-50 campaigners refunded all the nomination fees for all women who participated.

Sigere Pemba Kasasi (Chilangoma Ward)

The 50-50 campaign in Blantyre that was managed by National Elections Systems Trust (NEST) saw six women aspirants winning seats as councillors and two as MPs, Susan Kacholopa Ndalama (Blantyre Rural East) and Independent Gertrude Nankhumwa (Blantyre Kabula).

The others are councillors: Sigere Pemba Kasasi (Chilangoma Ward), Akima Mustafa Chipwatali (Linjidzi), Margaret Isaac Mictor (Lunzu), Carol Mdala (Chilaweni), Saleeha Masina (Chigwaja), Gertrude Chirambo (Namalimwe), Joyce Connie Malunga (Green Corner) and Mary Kachale (Nkolokoti).

For Namalimwe Ward

Meanwhile, Parliamentary elections for Lilongwe Rural South Constituency was postponed following the death of UTM aspirant candidate, Agnes Penemulungu who passed away on 29th April.

People in Lilongwe Rural South Constituency only voted for a councillor and president as they waited for MEC to announce a fresh date for the parliamentary by-election after May 21 and the commission also advised all candidates who had been duly nominated in the constituency to express their intent to contest in the by-election by writing to their Constituency Returning Officers and not submit fresh nominations.

The law stipulates that MEC postpones all election activities in a particular area when a competing candidates dies during elections and order fresh nominations.

In the past three months, three other aspirant candidates died — UTM’s candidate Charles Bokosi for Lirangwe Ward in Chiradzulu West constituency on 25th March, George Kajumo, an aspiring independent candidate who was duly nominated for election in Blantyre West Constituency and Andrew Justice Mlotha, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate for Nkhotakota Central Constituency candidate.

But in these constituencies, MEC provided that all proceedings in relations to Parliamentary Elections be stopped in pursuant to section 47 of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act so that all candidates who already submitted their nominations and were declared duly nominated need to write letters to the Constituency Returning officer confirming their continued candidature.