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Chilima’s brave revelations about 2014 MEC warehouse fire should be applauded

MEC -Fire
A woman looks at a Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) staff uniform untouched by the fire, while standing by the wreckage of a Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) warehouse following a blaze in the Capital Lilongwe, on July 16, 2014. Ballot Papers used in the country’s disputed elections were stored at the Lilongwe warehouse which caught fire late on July 14, 2014, a week after a court ordered a recount in one of the elections’ district, the electoral commission said on July 16. The cause of the blaze was remaining unknown. AFP PHOTO / AMOS GUMULIRA (Photo credit should read AMOS GUMULIRA/AFP/Getty Images)

Written by Patseni Mauka

As the dust settles on revelations that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) through Nicholas Dausi torched the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) warehouse in 2014 after a disputed parliamentary election result, Dr Saulos Chilima’s bravery in risking a personal court battle by naming the culprits should be applauded.

The UTM presidential candidate is known to only speak about things he knows well and has enough evidence. He has always refused to say anything on mere rumors in order to protect his one hundred percent record of revealing the truth about corruption and many other Mutharika led government evils.

Last year he was vindicated when Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) confirmed that a syndicate involving its workers and security guards stole fuel worth K1.6 billion, confirming claims made by Chilima.

Chilima was also vindicated when his revelations that Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) is bankrolling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 2019 election campaign were confirmed by media reports.

Last week Chilima also called for a probe on how a contractor who bid US$105 million for the construction of a military hospital has been left out by the government in favour of a bidder of US$206 million.

On the MEC warehouse torching, Chilima challenged Dausi and DPP to take him to court to prove his revelations wrong. According to The Nation Newspaper, in 2014 some men set alight the MEC warehouse and destroyed ballot boxes scheduled for a vote recount in the disputed parliamentary election results for Lilongwe City South East Constituency.

MEC reportedly declared DPP’s Bently Namasasu as winner of the parliamentary poll with 10 956 votes against Malawi Congress Party’s (MCP) Ulemu Msungama who amassed 10 854, a difference of 102 votes. Msungama eventually won the by election that the court ordered.

Two years after investigations former Police Inspector General Lexten Kachama told journalists that a probe into the fire established that it was a ‘mere accident and not caused by a person.’

However, the media reported that security guards around the premises during the incident alleged that the warehouse was gutted by four unknown people who reportedly identified themselves as governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) monitors while one said was from the National Intelligence Services (NIS).

The reports indicate that at the time of the fire, armed police officers were at the scene and did nothing as the suspected arsonists jumped into a waiting Toyota Carina vehicle with a red number plate.

Mbendera; MEC Chairman died on August 18th 2016 from a heart attack

Former MEC chairperson late Maxon Mbendera confirmed that there were uninvited NIS officers in addition to the normal security officers at the warehouse.

He was quoted by Nation Newspaper as saying: “We have been made to understand that the National Intelligence Services [NIS] provided services although this was not agreed with us. Equally, there was no prior notification of their involvement.”

At the time of the incident,the then DPP publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi was National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) director general. In the last cabinet reshuffle Mutharika appointed Nicholas Dausi as the Minister of Homeland Security.

Nicholas Dausi was trained by the notorious Malawi Young Pioneers (MYP) which were the paramilitary wing of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The Young Pioneers were a major instrument for former President Dr Banda’s one party state dictatorship and domestic terrorism. He has wide experience in clandestine activities.

The main objective of the reshuffle was a government structural change with eyes on the 2019 general elections. Mutharika relies on Dausi to do his dirty work. With just 20 days to elections, there was a break in at MEC offices in Lilongwe on Monday night. Chilima has vowed to get to the bottom of the latest breach of security at MEC offices.

Meanwhile MCP is in a mourning period following Chilima’s revelations. Instead of preparing for the elections which are just 20 days away, MCP has concluded that the whole 2014 election was rigged.

Instead of focusing on the current election to prevent any electoral fraud, they are busy feeling good about themselves because of an election that they think they ‘won’ five years ago. This is how MCP has found itself in opposition for 25 years, lack of strategy and timing.

DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post

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