But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world. Acts 1:8, NLT/NCV

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson, Justice Dr. Jane Ansah, who is also Supreme Court Judge, left the US today, after witnessing this year’s US Midterm elections. The elections result saw the Republican Party swoop a 2-point majority in the Senate – the higher House in Congress, while the Democratic Party also recorded a whopping win with over 200 seats and took back the majority of the House of Representatives. This snatches the majority status the Republicans have had for the past two years.

Apart from witnessing the election in real time, the MEC Chair and her entourage (MEC Commissioner Mathanga), also attended a four-day activity based interactive sessions around election issues, data collection and processing. The objectives of the training workshops were that participants would be able to demonstrate the role of election data in election administration; illustrate how election data impact the policy and operational work of their office; present data in a compelling manner to influence legislation and election reform.

The participants were also involved in other interactive inforgraphics using data to engage voters; they also harnessed their skills on the use of election data to tell the election story accurately; and to analyze election data to enhance election integrity.

These are important topics for the Malawi Electoral Commission to harness in their armory as the country steers toward Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government elections in 2019. Learning from the master captains of democracy, who themselves have experienced turbulence in the matter of the integrity of national elections, it is laudable that Malawi is involved in ensuring its election process is pristine and unencumbered with abuse and other improper handling of the election process.

Our democracy is at risk if the election process is undermined in any way; ensuring that we get it right all the time, will ensure that people will come out in its totality – all eligible persons of voting age – on election day, cast their vote, and elect officials that will represent the country. Most of all, the election shall be free from fear from any quarters in the country – government, opposition, or civil society.

As the MEC prepares to make this election the best it has ever had, we call upon other players in the arena, such as the Police to be diligent and ensure that they always act professionally in performing their mandates. The politicians in the government on their part, should refrain from being arrogant and threatening members of the opposition.

Please remember: There has only ever been one Life President. He passed away in 1997, after losing power in 1994. All elected officials are in their posh seats at the behest of the electorate, please learn to serve their interests, not yours. When you serve your own interests, you will be dealt the shove electors served their representative on November 6, 2018 in the US Midterm elections.

Long live genuine democracy!