By Grace Dzuwa
BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)- Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on Wednesday afternoon rejected Independent presidential hopeful Ras Chikomeni Kadelere Chirwa nomination papers for failing to pay MK2 million and lack signatures.
MEC chairperson Jane Ansah at Comesa Hall in Blantyre said the commission has given Ras Chikomeni two days to act on the anomalies and present the papers again.
“Having scrutinized your papers, we find that there are two conditions that have not been fulfilled. You have not made the MK2 million [nomination fee] payment,” said Ansah.
Ansah, a judge at the Supreme Court of Appeal, cited Section 45 subsection 1 of the Elections Acts said the candidate should deposit the nomination fees with the returning officer at the time of presenting the papers.
“At the time you submitted your papers you have not paid your nomination fees,” she said.
His supporters chanted tisonkhe! tisonkhe! (Let us contribute).
MEC chairperson also said “there are not enough nominators for 19 districts” as supporters shouted tisaine! (let us sign).
Ansah explained that there should be a minimum of 10 signatures in each districts of the country.
“For that reason, we cannot accept your papers. Should you meet these conditions in the next two days we will receive them,” Ansah said.
In his remarks, Chief Elections Officer, Sam Alfandika said: “We are returning the nomination papers so that we give him time to fulfil the requirements.”
Speaking live on Times TV , Chikomeni said: “It’s sad that we are buying democracy.”
Commenting on his running mate, his mother Niness Kayengo, Chikomeni said he picked her because she has been his adviser all his life said he wanted to achieve a balance in bringing women leadership and experience, saying she is a retired public servant “but not tired.”
The winning presidential candidate and running mate eventually become the country’s President and Vice-President, respectively.
Who is Ras Chikomeni?
The Mzuzu-based farmer and musician was born on October 1 1977 to Overton Hoho Chirwa and Nines Kayengi.
He was named Chikomeni by his grandfather who died days before he was born. His family believed that he was bewitched.
His mother is from Katowo Village Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwenemisuku in Chitipa while his father comes from Ehesheni Village T/A Chikuola Jere in mzimba.
Both parents were civil servants as his mother was a primary school teacher while his father was an agriculture officer.
He also believes that one plant of Industrial Hemp can employ 10 million people and he will legalise cultivation of the hemp.
Chikomeni revealed that he once owned six hectares of industrial hemp, but police arrested him for growing crop.