Aspirant Patrick Bandawe on Monday obtained an injunction ordering the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to stop recognizing legislator Juliana Lunguzi as the party’s parliamentary candidate for Dedza East.
This follows the party’s primary elections in Dedza East in November, 2018 in which Bandawe initially emerged victorious before the party made a U-turn to declare Lunguzi as the winner.
Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda granted Bandawe the injunction.
“In view of the foregoing, and by reason thereof, the application by the claimant is granted. Accordingly, the defendant, by itself or by or through its servants and/or agents, is restrained from effecting its decision declaring honourable Juliana Lunguzi the winner of primary elections for Dedza East Constituency until determination of the main action herein or a further order by the court,” the order reads.
Bandawe’s lawyer Innocent Kubwalo told the local media that the court order means his client is the MCP candidate for Dedza East.
“The court has effectively stopped the party from effecting its decision which disqualified the claimant,” Kubwalo said.
Meanwhile, the MCP is yet to discuss the way forward on the matter.
After the elections on November 26, presiding officer Peter Chalera announced Patrick Bandawe as the victorious candidate with 821 votes to Lunguzi’s 815.
However, the next day the party said there were irregularities that led to Bandawe being declared winner.
MCP publicity Secretary Maurice Munthali said Bandawe tally as declared by the presiding team included another contestants’ votes which was not only irregular, but also unethical and a serious breach of party conduct.
Following the findings, the Directorate of Elections recommended that the candidate who gave Bandawe votes be disqualified and his votes discounted from Bandawe’s tally.
“For this reason, it is the resolution of the Party that Hon. Juliana Lunguzi is the legitimate winner of the Dedza East Primaries, not only because she had the votes to win before other candidates colluded to manipulate the process, but also because our investigations show that she had no part in the collusion,” said Munthali.