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MCP leader Chakwera talks tough on DPP’s alleged rigging scheme: “I’m watching you!”

Chakwera (Centre) and MCP officials during a press briefing in Lilongwe

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera has said the country’s electoral body, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), together with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), are in a rigging trajectory ahead of fresh presidential elections slated for July 2, 2020.

Speaking on Wednesday morning at the MCP’s headquarters, Chakwera alleged that his party and all alliance partners have identified a rigging plot by MEC through creation of fake voters’ roll in collaboration with National Registration Bureau.

“As far the fresh election is concerned, to have credible election means being able to vote and have the confidence that your vote is protected. Today I want you to know that your votes as Malawians are not safe; because Malawi Electoral Commission is not doing enough to protect your vote.

“In fact, I have come before you to expose a criminal scheme at MEC; a scheme that threatens protection of your votes as we speak. As you know, this week MEC resumed its process of registering new voters to be added to the voters roll. But we now have evidence that the MEC voters roll itself is compromised,” Chakwera said.

“You already know that people tied to DPP have been going around buying and collecting national IDs from Malawians. And you have all heard that National Registration Bureau has been registering minors in the south of the country. What you may not know is how the DPP has begun using NRB IDs and the NRB register to corrupt the MEC’s voters roll.

“To understand this, team of investigators began by following a tip from Chikwawa. During phase one of MEC’s voter registration, a young man in Chikwawa took his national ID card to a MEC centre to register so that he can vote for the first time. His name is Ephraim and he will turn 18 in two weeks time from today.  Upon arrival at the voter registration centre, his national ID   was scanned by  the MEC official.

“But to his shock, it was discovered that Ephraim’s national ID number was already  in the MEC’s voters roll, registered by MEC two years ago when he was underage but under different name, and a different date of birth. This means that someone at MEC store his ID card from the NRB register in 2018 and used it  to create fake voter in the MEC voters roll for the 2019 elections,” he added.

Chakwera further said over 7000 minors with similar cases were identified after a thorough investigation by the party’s director of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), Daudi Suleiman.

“When the incident was reported to Mr. Daudi Suleiman, who is the head of ICT under the MCP directorate of elections, he mobilized our various networks of intelligence gathering assets to investigate.

“After thorough comparison of 20 IDs of young people like Ephraim, and the MEC voters roll we have I dentified over 7000 minors with similar cases. This means that since 2018 NRB national IDs of minors have been used to create fake voters and ghost voters in the MEC voters’ toll. These fake voters and ghost voters in the MEC voters roll were already used in the 2019 elections but the criminals did it without anyone noticing,” he said.

Chakwera, however, has promised his supporters that his party and alliance partners will not allow DPP and MEC to infringe their voting rights.

He said: “So on this day, I make this promise. As Dr. Chilima and I join forces to fight against those who hijacked the 2019 elections to steal the presidency, and we have joined forces to unite Malawi we will join forces to stop those who are using the NRB data to create ghost voters at MEC and covid-19 ghost beneficiaries at Merdef.”

Chakwera says his expectation is that the system at MEC be cleaned before continuing with electoral process.

“The MEC’S voters roll must be audited and cleaned. Without doing so, the list of voters in MEC’s voters roll, will still include stolen identities and other anomalies.”

Chakwera, who was live on Zodiak and Times, finished his speech with a warning shot to President Peter Mutharik saying whatever fraudulent activities Mutharika is orchestrating, MCP is watching.

 “I know what you (Mutharika) are doing and your time is up,” he said.

Contrary to people’s expectations, Chakwera avoided to comment on the President Mutharika national address of Tuesday night on the covid-19 pandemic, in which Mutharika outlined some additional measures to cushion the poor.

Apart from announcing a package intended to help the poor Malawians, Mutharika disclosed that the special committee on covid-19, which initially comprised of DPP officials only, has been restructured. Opposition leader Robin Lowe and other health experts have been drafted in.

Taking his turn, Director of ICT at MCP, Daud Suleman said “over three million people have been registered and are eligible to vote, when in fact they do not have all the requirements.”

Using a projector, Suleman took journalists through what appeared to be glaring evidence of an alleged deliberate plot to distort reality

Maneno Chimulala
Maneno Chimulala
I am a journalist, educator, and activist with passion for telling stories about social justice, sports and political issues. I graduated from Mzuzu University. I started my career at the Maravi Post online publication in 2012 as an intern while in college. Upon graduating from Mzuzu University I was offered a job as Sports Reporter because of my background as a goalkeeper and rose to the position of sub editor. I also had a short stint with Nyasatimes, Malawi Punch and Malawi Digest. Over the past seven years, I have worked intimately with rural organizations and communities in Malawi on human rights, girl child education and grassroots development projects. With an academic background in education, I also volunteer as male champion for girls’ education under Girls Empowerment Networks (GENET) in Malawi’s South West Education Division (SWED).
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