FROM 198 VOTES TO 455, MCP’S IMPRESSIVE GROWTH IN MTIYA WARD ZOMBA CHISI CONSTITUENCY
By Lord Denning
The 26th September 2023 local government election in Mtiya Ward situated in Zomba Chisi constituency were the seventh (7th) round since the first multi-party elections in 1994 in which the sixth (6th) round was during the 2019 general elections. The seventh has been a by-election. This particular local government election in Zomba Matiya Ward is particularly important as it paints a significant political statement about the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Let us see the nature of statement being highlighted.
FACT NUMBER 1
Since God created the world and everything in it, and since Malawi, as we know it, started casting votes to elect leaders at the three tiers of political governance (Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government levels), the MCP has never won a local government election when it comes to wards situated in Zomba Chisi Constituency, including the Mtiya Ward.
FACT NUMBER 2
The MCP has always been coming last when it comes to Mtiya Ward, scoring almost insignificant number of votes compared to top three performers in any given poll. Let us have an elaborate snapshot of three consecutive elections held between 2014 and 2019 respectively to cross-check this fact:
2014 results for MTIYA WARD
According to MEC official statistics, during this year, the total number of people who turned out to vote was 15 909, representing 77.81% voter turnout. But 15,612 were valid votes. These valid votes were distributed as follows:
Evance Namakoka (DPP): 7,659 (polling 49.06% of the valid votes)
Raphael Manuel MAOKO (INDEPENDENT): 2,679 (polling 17.16% of the valid votes)
Blaidon NTAWANGA (PP): 2,382 (polling 15.26% of the valid votes)
Feston MWANDAMA (INDEPENDENT): 1,987 (polling 12.73% of the valid votes)
Monalisa JEKE (UDF): 524 (representing 3.36% of the valid votes)
Joster Jameson PATSANI (MCP): 381 (representing meagre 2.44% of the total valid votes)
2019 results for MTIYA WARD
Blazio Chinthenga (DPP): 4,754
Evance Deveson Namakoka (INDEPENDENT): 3,764
Emmanuel George Nazombe (INDEPENDENT): 1,186
Brighton Ntawanga (INDEPENDENT): 238
Gabriel Mankhanamba (UDF): 279
Feston Mwandama (PP): 996
Joster Angozo Patsani (MCP): 198
Luciano Patrick Kumbani (UTM): 675
Angella Magombo (INDEPENDENT): 2622
As can be seen from the two data sets above, the MCP candidate came to the very last with a total of 198 votes whilst the first candidate (a DPP candidate polled 4,754). The Independent candidate, Evance Namakoka, was also a DPP member (check from 2014 records cited above) who somehow got frustrated with DPP and chose to go Independent and pulled 3,764 votes which were, essentially, DPP votes as well. This trend, asserts yet another undeniable fact that DPP has always grabbed this ward, and very much safe therefore to say it has always been their stronghold.
2019 results for MTIYA WARD
Eventually, there was another by-election in the said ward during the same 2019 period in which a UTM candidate, Ramsey Dagla Kajosolo, won the seat but has since died hence the present by-election. In that particular election, the MCP gave up and chose not to participate. Below were the results then:
1. Ramsey Daglas Kajosolo (UTM): 1,882
2. Hilda Mponda (DPP): 1,398
3. Isaac Luna (UDF): 561
4. Fadwick Lipenga (INDEPENDENT): 365
5. McPhary Chilumpha (INDEPENDENT): 306
6. Edward Senetor Kandidziwa (INDEPENDENT): 290
FACT NUMBER 3
DPP has, yet again, reclaimed the Ward from the UTM in yesterday’s by-elections. However, its winning this time around has been with a severely bruised nose as the results data demonstrate:
2023 By-election results for MTIYA (Ward 0325)
According to official announcement by MEC there was a total of 6,459 registered voters in Mtiya Ward, out of which 1,113 turned out for polling representing 17.2 percent voter turnout. The results are as follows:
1. Maxwell Finias (DPP): 505 votes
2. Humphrey Rabeti (MCP): 455 votes
3. Mwalala Micah (UTM): 66 votes
4. Natasha Thewe (UDF): 50 votes
2. Tereza Kambale (UP): 7 votes
Today’s declared results indicate a difference of 50 votes between the DPP and MCP. The MCP’s growth from 198 in 2019 to 455 this time around demonstrates that the party has gained a significant headway mileage into this area. This is a big political statement of a growing popularity. On the other hand, DPP having scored 4,754 in 2019 and later on 1,398 that same year, and then 505 this time around is also a big statement, but of declining popularity. This should leave DPP very worried than relaxed considering that it particularly and exclusively depends on the southern region votes.
The difference between DPP (7,659) and MCP (381) in 2014 was 7,278 representing not less than 95% (95.03%). In 2019, the difference between the two parties was (DPP: 4,754 – MCP: 198) 4,556 representing not less than 95% (95.84%).
MCP, it appears therefore, is a growing force in Mtiya Ward and the Southern region in general where it has always been rejected (if the voting results could be anything to go by). As others have said, this is an indication that in 2025, President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera will have more votes in the region than he had in 2020. This is extremely bad news for DPP which, in any given case, can never outdo MCP in the central region.