Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Sunday, June 7, 2020 announced new Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners.
Surprisingly, Mutharika has maintained old commissioner’s Dr Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje.
Mathanga has been refusing to step down arguing that his hands were clean on May 21, 2019 polls.
Below is Mutharika’s appointment statement.
His Excellency the President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by Section 75 of the Constitution; as read with Section 4 of the Electoral Commission (Amendment Act of 2018) has appointed new Commissioners of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as follows;
Justice Dr Chifundo Kachale – Chairperson
Mr Arthur Nanthuru – Commissioner
Mr Steve Duwa – Commissioner
Dr Jean Mathanga – Commissioner
Ms. Linda Kunje – Commissioner
Dr Anthony Mukumbwa- Commissioner
Mrs Olivia Liwewe – Commissioner
However, it is the retaining of Ms. Linda Kunje that has raised the blood pressure of the oppositions parties in malawi.
A highly charged Kunje told PAC Committee that it had no right to question the electoral body’s competence when they themselves were elected into the house using the same Tippexed results.
It was only Commissioner Linda Kunje who was bold enough to comment on the ruling, saying the commission was not expecting anything different.
Kunje said the commission’s hopes were not high on the Supreme Court’s ruling, which is why they carried on with electoral preparations.
“We got contended that somehow somewhere someone did not do their job well. Unfortunately, I do not know whether it is the Supreme Court or not, but people are on a mission including the judiciary which is incredibly sad. Today is the saddest day in the history of Malawi unfortunately they are the courts we just have to do the way they want us to do,” she said.
On the commission’s incompetence, Kunje questioned the judges’ interpretation, arguing it is the same commission which ushered into power the current members of Parliament (MP) and Ward Councilors.
“So, the court the feels the commission was incompetent only one side and not the MPs and the councilors. For me this being the highest court there were supposed to clear all those grey areas. I feel content as you know very well, and the Constitution is noticeably clear it was a tripartite election.
“We didn’t say let us handle the presidential vote differently we handled everything together the same Tippex that we are talking of it was across the board. So, if they are learned judges, they needed to interpret everything to clear everyone why have they left out the Parliament and local elections.
It would have been in the best interest of everyone to declare the nullification of all three not just one which makes us question that are they really following the law or they are serving somebody or some people in their minds who we believe they have actually colluded them,” she said.
Kunje charges, “President Peter Mutharika won the May 2019 polls even though lawyers know that. We will not leave our jobs till expiring of our contract on this coming month June. We will be with Mutharika on good and bad times”