Main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has implored on the government to immediately release funds for the Mchinji West by-election so that the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) can hold it before the expiry of the term of office of current commissioners.
Director of Elections in MCP Maxwell Thyolera said as of now, there is nothing on the ground to show that an election would be held on May 10, 2016 as indicated on MEC calendar.
“We held our primary party elections on April 16 based on the draft MEC calendar and we elected our candidate, apart from this, there is nothing on the ground. We are told treasury has not released a single penny for the exercise yet we are racing against time,” said Thyolera.
A secondary school teacher Jephter Mwale emerged winner during the by-election beating six other candidates including former MP and cabinet minister in Bingu wa Mutharika cabinet Theresa Mwale.
“Our worry is that the tenure of office for the current MEC commissioners expires on May 18, 2016. This is when MEC will be dissolved,” he said.
Chairman of MEC Maxon Mbendera also pressed the cash strapped government to release the budgeted K250 million for the election, saying the commission had planned to hold the by-election before the expiry of the commissioners.
All the commissioners except Mbendera quits their office on May 18 but Mbendera’s contract expires in October.
Treasury spokesperson Nations Msowoya said the government is yet to make a decision on the matter.