Dissolve Malawi Electoral Commission, probe management fraud: Editorial

Going by our exclusive stories on the audit conducted earlier this year at the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC); a lot, most of it grubby, has been happening at this institution.editorial op

This is irritating because MEC is, without doubt, the most supreme watchdog over democracy in Malawi, mandated as it is with the sacred duty of safeguarding our democracy through the periodic conduct of free and fair elections.

MEC’s duty is sacred for several reasons. First and foremost, poor management of elections has led to eruption of civil wars and bloodshed in various countries. We will not cite examples.

Now, an institution which holds the fate of a country and lives of a nation at one point or another is one that obviously has a critical role.

This means that such an institution should operate in manner that inspires confidence at all times, in all its dealings and its operations and should stand scrutiny – if not hold the gold standard – with respect to transparency and accountability.

Secondly, looking at history or better still, if we borrow the overused ‘Malawi is a God fearing country’cliché and wax Biblical, the sacredness of the role of MEC becomes even clearer.

We read in the Holy Bible and even in the Holy Quran of one Samuel. Samuel was a man chosen for God, from his miraculous birth until his death. He served in several important positions during his life, earning God’s favour because he knew how to obey.

Samuel’s story began with a barren woman, Hannah, praying to God for a child. The Bible says “the Lord remembered her,” and she became pregnant.

She named the baby Samuel, which means “the Lord hears.” When the boy was weaned, Hannah presented him to God at Shiloh, in the care of Eli the high priest.

Samuel grew in wisdom and became a prophet. Following a great Philistine victory over the Israelites, Samuel became a judge and rallied the nation against the Philistines at Mizpah. He established his house at Ramah, riding a circuit to various cities where he settled the people’s disputes.

Unfortunately, Samuel’s sons, Joel and Abijah, who had been delegated to follow him as judges, were corrupt, so the people demanded a king.

And it came to pass that Samuel listened to God and anointed the first king of Israel, a tall, handsome Benjaminite named Saul. When Saul angered the Lord, Saul anointed King David, one of the seven sons of Jesse. The rest is history.

Now, imagine that Samuel was a character who double-claimed allowances, bought public donkeys in a manner that lacked transparency, and could not account for public resources. Would anyone have taken him seriously?

MEC is the king-maker in Malawi and if Malawians are to accept and respect the leaders that claim victory after processes managed by MEC, MEC ought to be the most transparent, trustworthy and accountable institution in Malawi.

Going by the report of the Central Internal Audit Unit (CIAU), MEC has been desperately found wanting.

We will not repeat what the articles have already summarized suffice to say that typical of a fish’s decaying from the top; Justice Maxon Mbendera, the MEC Chairperson, apparently made his own rules and sold a public car at a giveaway price to himself.

This is something that Samuel would obviously have frowned upon. And check this: Samuel’s own sons were passed over as Judges because of such corrupt behaviours.

Coming to Willie Kalonga, the Chief Elections Officer, according to the audit report, he has also been up to his neck plundering MEC resources.

And again, some commissioners are implicated and were partaking the looting jamboree at this time when millions of Malawians will, according to the State President, face starvation.

This is to say the least, a national disgrace.

In civilized countries, Justice Maxon Mbendera, the Chairperson; Willie Kalonga, the Chief Elections Officer, and the Commissioners would have honourably resigned. But Malawi being what it is, they are claiming to be “innocent”. If these guys are innocent, then Oswald Lutepo deserves a sainthood!

Look at it from this perspective: MEC leadership despite knowing that public resources are subjected to rigorous audits, went on to steal and loot. Now what do these characters do with our votes, which as you know are not audited at all? God forbid!

To conclude, because an electoral commission inundated with compromised characters is one that cannot be trusted to conduct free and fair elections, we at the Nyasa Times, demand the commission’s immediate dissolution and that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) should seal MEC and dig deeper because, an audit being an audit, the findings might just be the tip of an iceberg.

Failure to do this means that we are not serious about democracy and peace in Malawi.

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56 thoughts on “Dissolve Malawi Electoral Commission, probe management fraud: Editorial”

  1. frank says:

    my malawi ukulowera kt

  2. Protocal says:

    As the rot continues,shd we really hv the same Mbendera during the nxt elections? Hw long wl he keep weeping infront of hz fellow judges and politicians

  3. mjiba says:

    Willie Kalonga was put at the Electrol Commission to do what the other fool Paul Mphwiyo was put at Treasury to steal for the evil woman. Ife anawona kale zimenezi ha ha ha fufuzani kuti bambo Willie ntchito yawo inatha chifukwa chiyani kwina kwake musova kkkkk

  4. blessings says:

    Mob justice is the solution to all these nonsense,we as malawians we won’t yield anything from these lolz corrupts people..

  5. ganda says:

    These pp should give chance to other pp.and need to change these possition every year in a week b4 elections plz. awa atopa.

  6. Bowa says:

    Mkwapafupi Lutepo kukalowa kumwamba,koma kwapatali Maxon Mbava Mbendera kukalowa.

  7. Martin says:

    Well illustrated by referring to the Samuel story, WELL DONE Editor. To borrow words from Bob Marley’s song WAR, “we Africans shall fight and we know we will win as we are confident, a good over evil…” During the announcement of the much troubled The Tripartite General Elections, Justice Maxson Mbendera was in tears. The good was surpassing the evil in him as he knew that he was announcing something which was a lie in the process selling the nation to the wolves hence the tears.

  8. Ndatani says:

    A last but one resort is that the Malawi Defence Force stage a coup. We need to get rid of these crooks and pimps. It is even better and easier now since that the stupid APM is out of the country.

    If not; as a last resort, I am willing to start or join forces in starting the urban warfare to get rid of these politicians and their accomplices at MEC, MRA and so on. I might have some skills in fighting the wars and military intelligence. Anyone up for it please so that we save our country.

  9. Moya says:

    Chikalipo alipo ku MEC ko?

  10. Yona says:

    We need to change our laws and then strengthen out law enforcement mechanisms. That’s all. We need strong accountability checks in Malawi if we are to develop. Malawi needs to be ruled by people elected by Malawians not imposed by MEC. We need to build an independent MEC which can work without fear of those in power. MEC Chair should be approved and endorsed by parliament. We need to change the way we count votes. How we report results ect. Many things have to change if we are really to develop as a nation…otherwise Malawi will rain poor….this advice if for free. You can copy and implent as you wish…

  11. food for thought says:

    I was watching RT ( Russia Today) the other day and saw how western media began is media assault on Russia by creating accounts on social media and disseminating distorted information about how Russian airstrikes had killed civilians. On analysis it was revealed that the ths was a made up story which was aimed at tarnishing Russia’s image in the public domain.

    I later paused and came to the realization that nowhere is such tactic capable of prevailing like in Malawi. The news media groups are capable of spreading tailor made stories for or against whoever based on a myriad of reasons ( personal or otherwise)and thanks to the inability of the general population to critically analyse stories, sometimes trash can be passed off as fact.

    @No. 8, ‘Truffle’, I had forgotten that this same site was changing goal posts about who the MEC was supporting, in particular the Chairperson, and passing it off as fact. Hmmmm, food for thought perhaps.

  12. benjnes says:

    time is ticking watch out all you criminals

  13. peeping lizard says:

    kodi anthu amenewa anasokoneza mavuti angalephere kusokoneza office yawo,their all thieves ,mbendera am warning you we malawians we are tired of you.anthu ambiri ali mmaiko akunja chifukwa chaiwe!!!!!,

  14. clement says:

    Palimbe wangwiro pa dziko lapansi. Onani zomwe zimachitika Ku FIFA kuti Maiko ena achite host world cup. Ino ndinthawi yotsiliza ndipo even iweyo reporter nawe uli ndizolakwika zako koma popeza maufuluwa ukukamba za ena.

  15. Zanga Zaine says:

    We suffering becoz of Mbendela.

  16. Malawiyano says:

    CAN WE ALL STOP REMITING TAXES TO MRA. THATS NOT THE WAY OUR TAXPAYERS MONEY CAN BE MISUSED BY THIS RIGED GOVERNMENT.

    NOTHING GOOD THAT WE ARE GETTING FROM PETER MUNTHALIKA

  17. maria says:

    Spare mahope anga sangwani kumeneko

  18. Anyoni says:

    It started out from the previous general elections, mbendela holds too much bloodshed in his hands. Resign bwana … Ngati wasiya CEO wa Vw inu mukutipasa zomwe sitina votee plus stealing $$ wat does that make out of a leader ? Resign boss

  19. chipie says:

    Indeed, we will not see the backside of poveqty.

  20. chatonda says:

    TO mec TEAM, WHETHER YOU RESIGN OR BEING FIRED. THE REPUTATION WILL FOLLOW YOU WHEREVER YOU GO INCLUDING THE TOILET THAT YOU ARE THIEVES AND A DISGRACE TO THE NATION. YOU BETTER LOCK YOURSELVES IN YOUR HOUSES OTHERWISE MOB JUSTICE IS IN THE OFFING.

  21. Kennedy says:

    May God judge mbendera sooner than latet. This rubbish mbendera sold malawians to this evil party of dpp on top of that he squanders public fund. Is there anyone to trust in mec? Now look the judges are also corrupt, I think we need communism in malawi.

  22. Gameover says:

    Choyipa chitsata mwini nanga tingati mavoti anayenda mwachilungamomo chonchi ndichifukwa chake a Mbendera ankalira po wulutsa mavoti amalira ndi uchimo wake wankhaninkhani
    .amenewa amangidwe basi akapezane ndi anzawo ku maula

  23. Yasin Yusuf Sanud says:

    That’s the only way to go, if we are to ensure that justice prevails in our land, as no tangible investigation can be done if they remain at their helms. If it is to be proved by ACB, that commissioners have something to repay to Malawians and that they are to serve a certain jail sentence, then the Tripatite Elections weren’t credible.

  24. Hope says:

    You civil society guys these are the issues to deal with. You gift and Timothy instead of going to UN reporting nkhani za ziiii…. Homosexuality mobilize people against MEC … May be ask help from Undule.. WE MISS YOU UNDULE ALL THOSE YOU LEFT IN CIVIL SOCIETY HAVE FOGOTTEN THIER ROLE …JUST FLYING OUTSIDE WITHOUT ANY CAUSE…. People need guidance and leaders to help this nation …Willie has never been serious and I just wonder how he was given that important job… May the Lord help this nation..

  25. truth says:

    No one is clean at mec.

  26. truth says:

    Mbendela mbendela mbendela. How many times did i call you? Dark cloud is hanging over you.

  27. Chanza says:

    corrupt mind full of greed can not be trusted to properly conduct elections with free and fair results.Shame on us malawians as we are now one of the most corrupt nations on the African continent.At this rate of corruption,we have embarked on a second journey of 50yrs in poverty.Can these thieves RESIGN IMMEDIATELY if at all they are civilised.

  28. Hangman Mtambo says:

    Yes! MEC must be shut down. Mbendera your time is up. And that cashgate continues in government like this is reason enough for APM to resign too. APM resign now! Else I will stage a one man industrial action, in which I am no longer going to remit taxes to MRA until you guys have resigned. We cannot go on like this in this day of social networks …isaaaa!

  29. hkamdidi says:

    Well written! Send a copy to Mbendera!

  30. Charombanthu says:

    I entirely agree with the writer on this one. Either the top brass at MEC resign honourably or the the whole MEC should be dissolved immediately. These issues are not coming from Nyasa Times; but the internal audit report which was conducted at the institution. We have lost trust in you and please, take leave until these issues are cleared. Otherwise, as the writer rightly suggests, Lutepo deserves sainthood!!!

  31. Impreachment Agenda says:

    The incitement of MEC and Justice Mbendera should have followed the 2014 elections for MEC and Mbendera had a responsibility to safely and securely store all ballot papers/boxes for the disputed elections as required under the Laws of Malawi into the national archives.

    Instead MEC led by Mbendera created the environment for Brian Bowler and Dausi to destroy the ballot papers/boxes by fire. In any other country but backward, illiterate Malawi, Mbendera would be serving time in prison failing which street mob justice would have dealt with him for directly rigging the elections, the tears he shed were tears of joy at succeeding to rig in favour of incompetent Mutharika.

    Where are you MCP? Silent. Shouting Kamuzu, Kwacha, Tambala, etc. when our country is not going but has already gone to the dogs who are busy looting its people of development and progress.

  32. Max B says:

    If we can have people and organisation to speak Truth without fear change will happen,anyway sometimes when pple are silent God act

  33. mbuyuni says:

    Malawi is dead country

  34. Pachilambo Usauchi says:

    A strong worded opinion, full of wisdom, facts and truth. I second it in its entirety !

  35. Kachilombo ka ku Dowa says:

    mautu amenewo tiyeni nazoni a ACB muwafunse mafunso amenewa. Anene bwino bwino amangogawana misonkho yathu pomwe ife azigogo athu akuvutika kumidziku osapeza chithandizo cha mankhwala akapita mdzipatala.

  36. truth says:

    Well written. End of Dpp, in 2019 hopefully MEC will be headed by right people

  37. Mzee says:

    Maxon Mbendera + Willie Kalonga + Rev. Chimkwita Phiri = Nuclear Bomb. Ask DFID about Kalonga and you will understand what we are dealing with. Its not wise to address the UN on corruption when you cant tackle obvious local cases like this one.I feel sorry for APM because he is not getting support in his crusade against gangsters. The best is for all of us start stealing otherwise tisala tokha. Joyce Banda must burn in heaven for failing to fire Kalonga after the British through DFID had demanded.

  38. Cashgate1 says:

    We can borrow a leaf from our colleagues in South Africa. They are marching for corruptions related issues. What if because we all know that they cannot resign, typical of Malawian leaders, force these guys out of MEC until the whole saga is closed and people are proved innocent.

  39. Malawian!!! says:

    He eeeeeeeee deeeeeee!

  40. Bwande says:

    Does MEC have an internal audit department? Of course, with crooks like these with the corrupt Kalonga, the CEO, the Internal Auditor may not be independent as he reports to the same thieves. Kalonga is a follower of Bushiri. He went to Mzuzu to attend Bushiri’s crusade. MEC paid for his travel expenses (fuel and allowances). He conducted un planned meeting with northern region staff members to cover his trip. Munthu ameneyo angakhale CEO ndipo bungwe ndikuyenda bwino? I think Malawi is very sick with looting of cash. Kuba kumeneku mkumati ndinu akhristu, kumafuna uneneri wofuna kulemera koma Mulungu mulibe ntchito. God wants arelationship with Him first. Basi ndisiyire pamenepa

  41. haward says:

    Am in agreement with the disolution of MEC, people have lost trust in it

  42. Peter27 says:

    MEC thought since they helped DPP rig elections, they can get away with plundering resources. Besides, they thought, everyone else is doing it, including the president himself, so why can’t they also dig into that cookie jar. This is not the first time top officials have sold public resources to themselves at a cheap price, or allocated some of them to family members. We hear about a lot of exposes hear in Malawi but nothing concrete comes out of it. Remember Rose from MRA? What about Dausi who allocated cars to his sons and daughters? Did anyone even take that seriously? Nope. That’s because corruption has become the norm in DPP gvt. So help us God!

  43. nobel says:

    Obviously Mec commissioners should go honourably. If they are able to steal money which is audited, how about our votes which are not audited by anybody?

  44. Well written,I would say dissolve the government as well.

  45. reasonable man says:

    fact MEC should indeed be dissolved for we cannot have confidence in the personnel there right from the top. dissolve it now probably starting from this very moment.MEC is a disappointment to the nation. remember when recounting of votes was mentioned warehouse got burnt , ballot papers already used in voting were found in the both some wet. all this points to how unprofessional this body has been. enough of this . Malawi dzuka

  46. matenda says:

    MEC you are destroying our democracy watch out

  47. Truffle says:

    How come no other paper wants to take your story and aren’t you the same people who brought “proof” that Mbendera was paying for mcp and that some how in a way that was boggling to anyone who does business that some how airtel and tnm were working to “FIX” the election last year why anyone believes today that some how you are a reputable news station is beyond me. You don’t even acknowledge when your own facts are wrong and last I checked general purpose loans don’t need a special reason to be taken because it is a LOAN meaning it gets paid back

  48. Mbonga Matoga says:

    I have said time and time again that Malawi is a failed state not because it is a poor country, no, on the contrary, in fact the main reason we are a poor nation is becoz since the inception of multiparty politics we have had no men and women of intergrity that can be trusted with the tax payers purse.

    Up to this day we do not have role models that the younger generation can emulate from…………..Mbava zokhazokha.

    From the first mbava Bakili Muluzi through the arrogant thief Bingu aka Mose Wa Lero and the stupid Amayi to the current dull Proffessor there is no chance that Malawi will ever see the backside of poverty.

  49. waitha says:

    Takawamangeni a Mackson Mbendera, akapezane ndi Kasambara, azikakambirana kuti angatani kuti apulumuke?

  50. KUNO KU MAULA says:

    WHERE IS ACB ??

    WHERE IS PAC ??

  51. Yona says:

    This article is lovely. I love this style of writing that flows smoothly into a thought provoking conclusion. Really, Malawi as it is..there is nothing like remorse…not sense of accountability whatsoever.. Yhr guys should have resigned if they lovely country and respect the law. By the way this tell it why somebpdy was crying before announcing the results. Again we know people who counted out votes…we know what they are capable of…

  52. chatonda says:

    In fact people would have gone on rampage the whole country because MEC is Ac heat and is comprised of liers and thiEves. There is no way MEC must continue working at the moment and BINGU sealed MEC offices FOR similar dealings. This is an institution headed by thieves and Willie Kalonga is the worst on earth because this is his conduct all his life. mec commissioners must resign and Chief Elections Officer must be fired immediately. They must face the law. They cannot be trusted anymore and I hope the Opposition are listening and will do the needful with the Civil Society.

  53. mercy says:

    I salute the divine wisdom which caused the writer to relate Samuel’s biblical story to current leaders…so inspiring. May the Almighty God continue blessing you with such wisdom….while some people may take it lightly, I can assure you its the most powerful and appropriate weapon one has to use to fight today’s evil spirits, demonic influences and contrary spirits. Hallelujah!!!!!Amen

  54. Azungu Misala says:

    If MEC officials can steal money, what can stop them from stealing an election from a well deserving candidate. Achoke apo biii 2019 I will run the elections show.

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