"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Delegates allege fraud on Chilumpha’s form

by OLIVIA KUMWENDA (4/22/2008)

Barely two days before the UDF convention, delegates from Mangochi and Zomba yesterday stormed the party’s headquarters in Limbe, demanding an explanation on how their names were found on the nomination form belonging to Vice-President Cassim Chilumpha.

The delegates allege that although they did not sign the form—which was collected by Noordeen Uladi, a member of the UDF Taskforce on the nomination and elections of the party’s presidential candidate—their names are appearing on it but with fake signatures.

According to UDF Mangochi urban district secretary Robert Hamisi, who is one of the delegates who went to the UDF offices, there are nine people from Mangochi and three from Zomba who are questioning the existence of their names on the form without their consent.

"The names are on the form but with different signatures and we are not happy with the development. Someone forged our signatures, which is an offence.

"We will make sure we get the culprit who signed the forms on our behalf and take him or her to court," he said.

Hamisi—who was accompanied by other district party members Hamisi Bonomasi and Patricia Wisike—added that the delegates are not against Chilumpha’s intent to contest, saying he is free to do so as the UDF is a democratic party.

"But when we go to the convention, we will not give evidence that we signed the form because it is someone else who used our names," said Hamisi.

UDF deputy secretary-general Hophmally Makande refused to comment on the matter and referred The Nation to the convention’s returning officer, lawyer John Gift Mwakhwawa.

Makhwawa confirmed to have received the queries but could not divulge more information.

"Some people wanted to find out whether their names appear on the forms or not but I can’t disclose from which camp they are from and how I am going to deal with the matter," said Mwakhwawa.

When contacted to shed more light on how the signatures were obtained, Uladi only said he was not aware of the queries. He could not take further questions and he cut the line.

But Makwangwala is on record to have told The Nation that whether procedures were flouted or not, the party shall allow Chilumpha to contest so that he faces the music right at the convention

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