Mbendera coup remarks: Malawi CSOs demand MEC boss probe

Malawi Electoral Commission  (MEC) chairperson  Justice Maxon Mbendera has courted fire to himself over his remarks that he had pressure from former President Joyce Banda over management of the May 20 Tripartite Elections and that the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) was also instructed to storm the national tally centre at Comesa Hall in Blantyre in order to force a recount.

The country’s civil society organisations are pushing for investigations over the remarks which they say if true smack of power abuse on the part of the former president.

In an interview with one of the country’s private television station Times TV, Mbendera said that if Joyce Banda’s push was successful it could have been a coup .

Mtambo:   We need investigations

Mtambo: We need investigations

In a joint statement Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (Cedep) have said that there was need for thorough investigations on Mbendera’s claims.

Mbendera told the Times TV that the former president ordered the MDF to push MEC to conduct vote recount, the exercise that was challenged a number of times through court injunctions. Mbendera himself also said that he did not succumb to the pressure as it was against the country’s laws.

“We at CHRR and Cedep implore the relevant authorities to conduct swift, thorough investigations into the claims so that all Malawians of good will are kept abreast of the truth about what happened during the highly controversial tripartite elections,” states the two organisations in a statement signed by Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence, CHRR and Cedep executive directors, respectively.

CHRR and Cedep said the allegation smacks of power abuse, which Malawians should guard against.

They also expressed surprise at the period that has elapsed from the time the elections were made to the time when the allegation has been made.

The two organisations have also described Mbendera’s action as putting him in an irrelevant position to the country’s democratic process and called on him to step down.

“CHRR and Cedep are surprised that four months down the line, the MEC chairperson and the rest of his team are still at the helm of the commission despite the shortfalls that rendered their competence and credibility questionable,” reads the statement.

The Islamic Commission for Justice and Peace (ICJF) also questioned Mbendera’s motive behind the allegations he made.

A statement signed by ICJF secretary general Hassan Chimwala, called on MEC to sort out all the problems so that future elections are conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner.

Mbendera has since refused to comment on the calls.

During the TV interview Mbendera : “It would have been a coup d’tat for the president to declare an election null and void.”

The May 20 elections were riddled with a variety of irregularities and violence that in some instances led to postponement of polling in some centres in Blantyre and Lilongwe.

The situation led to the extension of the voting beyond a single day and delay by MEC to announce official results.

The irregularities also led to some political parties claiming the elections were rigged, an observation which Mbendera, the Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) and the European Union Election Observer team, among other electoral players, have since dismissed.

The violence that ensued in some areas left one person dead.

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Tricia
Guest

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When you receive your product, read the label carefully before opening.

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for dessert.

Policeman
Guest

Hehehe ati kwawo kopanda tchire, m’mesa tchire mudamaliza chifukwa cha umbuli wanu powotcha makala? Timanyumba tamaudzu tija tozungulira ngati mpira, basi nkumanyadira kuti kulibe tchire poti timanyumbato patokha ndi tchire kale. You talk as if kwanuko ife sitikudziwa bwanji? Kukhalira kupemphetsa in offices where this blessed clan give you alms, umenewo ndi moyo? Eating maize husks, I beg, I better die than live on maize husks. Mukuzithera zakudya nkhumba akhokhola inu!!

Lomwepachakutipanu
Guest
Why is that you people who claim kuti kwanu kulibe tchire, why is it that most of you you have ended up in houses of people amene mukuti ngakutchire working as housemaids; cleaners and ulonda. Why is it anthu mukuti you come from kwabwinonu, most of you muli muzigayo begging for maize husks? Ndiuzeni why is it that most of you are in streets begging for alms? Pantumbo panu nonse zianthu zopanda nzeru you will just die of nsanje because the more jealous you are of northerners, the more God is blessing them. They are few in number, but go… Read more »
chanda
Guest

mbendela ndi mbava no 1 ndipo mulungu amulanga aona amalawi tayamba kuvutika chifukwa chaiye

peter
Guest

Mbendera needs to be investigated throurghly on his allegations.

GONANI
Guest

Mbendera is an idiot. Don’t trust anything he says.

wawa
Guest

Amalawi kumasamba kudzola mafuta abwino kumaso kumasalala abale… aah ada wa kumaso ngati mphonda ziphuphu… yiyayi mbale chonde..anyamata amadzolanso fairtu

Alungwana
Guest

Amalawikuiwala lion number pliz. It seems you are becoming the mdf witnes, isnt it? Or you are just our spokesman and since when?

Alungwana
Guest

I wonder where were the CSO’s when the elections were ligged? Where were you guys when the people’s rights to choose were denied by möney in the courts? Trapence where were you? Mtambo, you let the courts default people’s rights and think that wasnt a coup or a treason. Shut up CSO.

Nobel
Guest

So all this while Justice Mbendera kept this info? Thanks that u’ve now concluded ur stay by saying this. What remains is u stepping down since we’re through with the by elections. Good bye

wpDiscuz

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