Embattled Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah has received a public backlash after her exclusive interview with multi-award winning private broadcaster Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) aired Monday night when she addressed accusations that she had received billions of kwacha in bribery to fix the elections.
Ansah, a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, said she is aware that there are allegations that she pocked money from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to fix the May 21 Tripartite Elections and purportedly favouring President Peter Mutharika.
During the ZBS interview, Ansah denied receiving the money and said it is ridiculous to suggest she got K2 billion, because such money could fill 100 ten-tonne trucks.
Social commentator and renowned literary icon Stanley Onjezani Kenani criticised Ansah’s defence as lame, arguing the money could have been given to her in U.S. Dollars, in which case it could have been no more than $2.7 million.
“That’s 27 000 one hundred dollar bills. Each one hundred dollar bill weighs exactly one gram, so, madam, that’s 27kg that could have fitted in one standard Samsonite travel bag. You see?” Kenani wrote on his Facebook page.
Another social commentator, Mzonzi Lungu, a UK based trained lawyer wrote that is MEC chairperson faults simple mathematics – saying K30 million weighing 30 tonne – it simply means she cannot understand interpret tabulated results of general elections from different tally centres.
Ansah dismissed reports that she has used the bribed money to buy a house in United Kingdom where her husband is domiciled and ministers a Christian church.
She said her houses in UK were bought long before and that the other is on mortgage and its ending in a year or so.
“The amount of fake news created by Malawians during the election, stories created by well educated people if used properly can help Malawians create Star Wars,” said Ansah.
Many Malawians took to social media to critique Ansah interview and said most of the answers were awful including her response on the observation by High Court Judge Charles Mkandawire that MEC did not address concerns raised by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) at the time it wished to release the results, when she faulted Mkandawire’s judgement, suggesting that it was premised on inadequate information.
She also insisted that the elections were not rigged despite all the top three candidates—President Peter Mutharika, MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera and UTM Party leader Saulos Chilima—claiming rigging.
Ansah said she is personally alright and leading a normal life, but travelled out of the country briefly for a funeral of a close family member.
During the interview, Ansah quickly changed her response to a question by Joab Frank Chakhaza on whether she has spoken to President Mutharika since the elections. First, she said she has not spoken to the President, but in a follow-up question, Ansah said she has spoken to Mutharika once to seek permission to travel abroad for the funeral.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :