BLANTYRE—Commander-in-Chief of the Citizens for Transformation (CFT), Timothy Mtambo, has alleged that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is in another desperate attempt to circumvent democracy and the will of Malawians in the forthcoming fresh presidential election by tampering with the Malawi elections management system.
In a press statement issued on Tuesday by the Communications and Public Relations Strategist, Negracious Justin, the political movement says Jane Ansah’s resignation from her position as Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson is part of the rigging scheme orchestrated by DPP.
“We all know that on 21 May 2020, the MEC Chairperson, Justice Dr. Jane Ansah resigned. As CFT, we welcome her resignation. As we see it, the resignation of Justice Ansah alone is not enough. We are at pains to celebrate her resignation because our well-placed sources (whose information we verily belive to be true and correct) have informed us that Dr. Jane Ansah’s resignation is part of a rigging scheme orchestrated by the DPP—we will share more details on this rigging scheme as our intelligence team on the ground gather more information.
“We would like to warn Mutharika and his DPP that they cannot fool us. For Peter Mutharika and Your cronies, we have news for you; we know what you are planning behind the scenes and we can assure you that you will not succeed. We will clamp down on your agents and thwart any attempts to manipulate the electoral system in your favour,” reads the statement in part.
Mtambo, therefore, demands an audit of the MEC elections management system by specialists in presence of representatives from all political parties that are taking part in the fresh election.
“Further, we would like to reiterate our demand that the MEC elections management system must be audited by independent IT specialists in presence of representatives from all political parties that will contest, together with representatives from the Civil Society, religious communities and the private sector. We want all parties and the people of Malawi to approve and agree that they have enough faith in the credibility of the system and voters roll before it is put to use again,” reads the statement, adding MEC must not impose a polluted system and voters’ roll on Malawians.
Mtambo has also asked the appointing authority to move with speed on the replacement of Jane Ansah and the other commissioners whose contracts expire on June 5.
On this, he has warned Mutharika against playing delaying tactics on the appointments, arguing the Electoral Commission Act does not request but rather gives an obligation on the President to appoint Commissioners in consultation with the political parties represented in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, uncertainty still remains on the date which the fresh election shall be held. The Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament wrote the Malawi Electoral Commission to gazette 23 June, 2020 as a date for the election.
However, Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale has argued that the Legal Affairs Committee of parliament has no legal mandate to fix a date for the fresh election.
According to Kaphale, it is only parliament that has the powers to set a date for election not committee.
Malawi has been in a state of flux since its May polls, in which incumbent President Peter Mutharika was reelected with 38.6 percent of the vote. His principal challengers, Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima, immediately cried foul, suggesting irregularities, including the use of white-out to tamper with results sheets in favor of Mutharika.
Both the Constitution Court and Supreme Court ruled in favour of the opposition and ordered a rerun within 150 days, counting from 3 February.