By Synd Kalimbuka
Ten candidates including People’s Party candidate Lawrence Bisika and independent candidates Annie Fletcher and OG Issa have presented their nomination papers for the parliamentary race in Zomba Changalume.
The presentation of nomination papers which took place at ST Anthony Teachers Development Centre saw ten candidates showing interest while two withdrew from the race.
Among others who presented are Independent candidate Mahomed Hanif Osman famously known as OG Issa, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Mary Muheya, owner of Annie’s Lodges Annie Fletcher, People’s Party candidate Lawrence Bisika and UTM’s Jean Cheonga Chilemba.
The two independent candidates Austin Kajawa and Golden Galeza withdrew from the race meaning that 1 candidate out of 10 is expected to carry the Zomba Changalume flag replacing late John Chikalimba.
In his statement to the media after presenting his papers, Mahomed Hanif Osman commonly known as OG Issa promised to address five key development areas which he will unveil on Tuesday during his manifesto and campaign launch in the Constituency.
UTM candidate Jean Cheonga Chilemba said she is very prepared and ready to win this by-election. Her interest is to bring good roads and construct schools because the situation is currently worrisome.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commissioner Linda Kunje who is also Chairperson for Finance and Administration Committee was impressed with the whole process especially during pre-inspection to make sure everyone meet the requirements.
Kunje said the commission will now be busy monitoring campaign that will be idea oriented.
“We encourage candidates to conduct themselves in dignified manner so that their followers should emulate good example from them as ones expected to be honourable members in parliament,” she said.
Out of 10 candidates presented their papers, 4 are women making 40% representation. According to 2019 Tripartite Elections, there were 24, 794 registered voters in Zomba Changalume constituency.
On voter apathy, Kunje said they are doing everything possible to sensitize people on importance to take in casting their votes.