By Joshua Mphanda, MEC Stringer
Following the submission of nomination papers in Lilongwe South Constituency by-election, five candidates are expected to battle it out for the contentious Parliamentary seat in the area, which were postponed after UTM Part candidate Agnes Penemulungu died prior to the 21 May tripartite polls.
The candidates comprise of Frank Mazizi from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Samson Phinifolo from UTM party, Peter Dimba from Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Patson Mthyoka as Independent and Julius Gracian Chongwe for Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy (MMD).
Speaking in an interview on Wednesday, the constituency’s Returning Officer Innocent Mkandawire described the nomination process as a routine.
“The nomination process is very important because it is one of the key stages the candidates go through before the actual polling day and decides whether a candidate is eligible or not to contest,” he said.
Mkandawire revealed that only two candidates from UTM and MMD had brought forms during the fresh nomination process.
“The other 3 candidates had already done so prior to the 21 May parliamentary race following the death of Penemulungu and were only required to write a letter expressing their intent to contest again so we have a total of 5 candidates so far,” he said.
He also urged the candidates to be agents of peace during their campaign and co-exist with one another for the delivery of a free and fair by-election.
Group Village Headman Samuel has since appealed to the aspirants to make good of their promises when elected.
At the centre of the 5 November poll in the constituency is the pressing issue of the poor state of roads, schools and the long distance people travel to access medical care.
UTM candidate Phinifolo described himself as a home grown boy with a proven development track record.
“I have served in Village Development Committees before where I wrote several successful development proposals and the people here can testify to my work ethic,” he said.
He promises to empower youths economically and increase literacy levels in the area through construction of a secondary school.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is expected to publish names of nominated candidates the commission has approved on Friday and launch campaign in the constituency on October 19.