Beleaguered Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah has told the Parliamentary Public Appointments Committee (PAC) inquiry that she was intimidated by main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) monitors at the National Tally Center before announcing the May 21 2019 presidential results.
PAC is holding a court instituted inquiry to establish the capacity of the commission to hold fresh elections following the Constitutional Court’s nullification of the Tippexed presidential election.
Responding to a question whether MEC had scrutinized all the results sheets before announcing the winner, Ansah, a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal said they and that all party monitors had already been served with the results sheets and results.
“By the time of announcing the results, all the results sheets had already been scrutinized. All the party monitors had already been served with the results. I remember UTM monitors noted that their presidental candidate Dr Saulos Chilima’s total had a deduction of 400 000 votes, an anomaly which we corrected.
“MCP monitors led by [Elsehower] Mkaka, Chimwendo [Banda], [Silvesetr James] Ayuba and others also had an audience with me where they intimidated me that I should not announce the results and if I go on there will be blood in the country. I confronted Ayuba who later knelt down and appologized, so too with Chimwendo,” she said.
Among other things, Ansah corraborated with a Commissioner Linda Kunje that tippex was only used as a correction fluid and not a tool to change the results.
By using tippex, Ansha said no law was brocken by the presiding officers but that it helped to uphold the rule of law.
However, Ansah’s claims of MCP intimidation comes as State vice-president and UTM Party presidential hopeful Saulos Chilima is on record to have made stinging and blistering attacks at Ansah, alleging she told staff at the pollster that they should help President Peter Mutharika win the election.
Chilima signed the letter containing evidence of misconduct by Ansah the head of the electoral body.
In a leaked letter seen by Nyasa Times calling for Ansah resignation as MEC chair, Chilima said she specifically mentioned that she did not want MCP president Lazarus Chakwera to be elected because his running mate –Mohammed Sidik Mia – is a devout Muslim.
Chilima alleges Ansah led a pro-Mutharika members of the electoral commission into celebrations when the “bogus results” started showing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader was leading.
“You attended a private celebration party for professor Mutharika and his supporters and followers,” says Chilima, the former corporate executive -turned-politician .
The Constitutional Court ruling established that the 2019 voting process had been marred by serious irregularities.
Ansah-led commission had also failed to address complaints before announcing results. Tally sheets lacked monitor signatures and several accepted tally sheets that had been corrected using Tipp-Ex.
The court annulled the election and called for fresh elections within 150 days from February 3 2020, a judgement which Ansah is appealing at the Supreme Court of Appeal.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :