Malawi govt. seeks to civic educate people on VP Kachali’s electoral body role

Malawi’s Minister of Information and Civic Education, Moses Kunkuyu said government is geared to civic educate members of the general public on the rationale of appointing the Vice President to oversee operations of the Malawi Electoral Commission before the situation get out of hand.

He is reacting to pressure which opposition political parties and electoral stakeholders are piling  on President Joyce Banda to rescind her decision of appointing her vice Khumbo Kachali as the minister responsible for the national electoral body.

The critics fear that with the Vice President as minister in charge of MEC, the independence of the body will be greatly compromised.

New MEC Chairman Maxon Mbendera said while Section 76 (4) of the Constitution gives the commission independence, Section 96 (1b) of the same supreme law of the land gives a minister powers to direct, supervise and coordinate activities under his or her ministry.

Kunkuyu says it is unfair for Malawians to start asking the President to rescind her decision before government clears out the fear which people have.

Mbendera: Constitution gives a minister powers to direct, supervise and coordinate activities

“What could be done here is to get to people understand the rationale behind the appointment, the responsibility has always been in the Office of the President and Cabinet and what has the president done is just to shift that responsibility to delegate the Vice President to be handling what was already handled by the Office of the President and Cabinet,” he says.

The minister parries away the fears that people have that government has deliberately made the appointment in order to frustrate the forthcoming tripartite elections.

“Government in any form has no any intention of rigging the 2014 tripartite elections as the president made the appointment on trust solely for the purpose of making sure the smooth running of the electoral body.

“So as government, we will make sure that people get to understand the justification of the appointment because in the absence of that people will continue pestering the president to rescind the decision,” Kunkuyu explained.

Malawi’s president Joyce Banda on Thursday the December 6, 2012, reshuffled her cabinet after eight months since she took over government on April 7th, 2012.

In her announcement president Banda appointed Vice President Khumbo Kachali as minister responsible Electoral Commission a development which has received with mixed reactions.

President  Banda defended the appointment of Kachali saying it was meant to oversee the logistical issues.

She however said she has no intention of rigging the 2014 elections as she is confident of winning the polls as she sees no formidable competitor.

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