Petra pushes JB to strip VP Kachali of EC responsibility

President of the Malawi’s opposition People’s Transformation Party (PETRA) Kamuzu Chibambo has joined a bandwagon of stakeholders and critics who are outraged President Joyce Banda’s decision of appointing the vice president Khumbo Kachali as responsible for the Electoral Commission (EC).

Chibambo who is also a trained lawyer says the appointment is not only unconstitutional but “a blatant violation of the Republican Constitution which the President swore to defend and uphold when she took over the presidency April 7, 2012”.

Section 76 subsection 4 of the Republican Constitution states that the Electoral Commission shall exercise its powers, functions and duties under this section independent of any direction or interference by other authority or any person.

“No doubt this appointment will seriously compromise the integrity of the activities of the Commission more so with the 2014 elections fast approaching,” says Chibambo.

Chibambo: Against Kachali’s MEC post

Chibambo says his party is worried with remarks made recently by a senior official of the ruling People’s Party (PP) held by president Banda in southern district of Balaka that ‘individuals who make Presidents win in Malawi are now within the PP fold.’

“These are most disturbing utterances and do not speak well of PP and democracy in Malawi. It clearly shows the Joyce Banda administration is geared to negatively influence the 2014 elections in a desperate bid to remain in power,” he says.

He says coupled with this bizarre appointment are what he calls the new residential oversight roles vis a vis the Government Print and National Registration which in our view are part of the same scheme.

President Banda appointed Kachali last Thursday, to look after the operations of the national electoral body a move she defends has constitutional. She even argues that it is just a shift of the responsibility from her office to the office of the vice president and that there is no sinister motive behind the move.

“The explanation offered by the State President cannot simply be believed as it is coming from an interested party. In any election, perceptions in favor of any political Party whether real or not are a big threat to that Election, the security and peace of the Nation in reference,” says Chibambo.

The party is therefore demand president Banda to rescind the VPs appointment to oversee the activities of the Electoral Commission, and the immediate detachment of the Government Print and National Registration from the Office of President.

Chibambo also says his party is equally disenchanted by a bloated cabinet of 36 members when the economy is in very bad shape.

“Malawi does not require a battalion of Deputy Ministers and clearly they are an unwelcome burden on the already heavily taxed Malawian taxpayer,” he says.

Chibambo says the big cabinet makes a mockery of the Economic Recovery Plan as it will just exacerbate the already ailing economy which the PP government is clueless on how to make it rebound.

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