The civil society organisations (CSOs) under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HDRC) have demanded Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Justice Jane Ansah resignation over incompetence in how she has handled the missing voter registration kit.
The southern African nation will choose a new president, members of parliament and local government councillor on May 21 2019 .
But electoral stakeholders are raising doubts Malawi will have a credible vote with Ansah at the helm.
The civil society under the banner of HRDC are leaving voices against Ansah’s ouster after revelations that a biometric voter registration kit used in the ongoing voter registration exercise was found on a train in Mozambique this week.
“We are sick and tired of people running government business a s a criminal enterprise. How can the Electoral machine go missing only to be found un Mozambique? It goes missing the nation is not informed only to be told that it has been mysteriously found, what a childish joke,” said Timothy Mtambo the HRDC chairperson.
The HRDC, in their statement, said the silence on the part of MEC compels them to conclude that the electoral body has failed to be accountable and transparent to the people who entrusted it with management of elections.
Mtambo said they demand the whole MEC leadership to be “reconstituted”.
He said: “We can no longer trust them. We need a new team of MEC commissioners and MEC senior management [and] the recruitment of the new management must be done un a transparent manner.”
Mtambo said the missing of the registration kit was an “organised sundicate” to rig the elections.
But MEC has since ruled out any possibility of data in a biometric registration kit found in Mozambique being used to rig the 2019 elections, saying the information in the machine was for civic education and not voter registration.
However, the commission was at pains to justify the apparent secrecy by not divulging the missing and recovery of the kit to stakeholders as well as the public.
“We reported the matter to police and we are still waiting for them to give us the facts of the case. In the meantime, we are treating the matter as an issue of theft,” MEC chairperson for elections services committee Jean Mathanga told a news conference on Friday
According to Mathanga the commission also feared that other stakeholders could exaggerate the matter by making wild allegations of rigging.
The concerns about rigging of elections emerged in July this year, when Vice-President Saulos Chilima, while launching the United Transformation Movement (UTM), alleged that he is aware that government has procured a spying machine.
But MEC chairperson of civic and media committee Moffat Banda has described as “shameful and unfortunate” claims by Chilima about the existence of a rigging machine in the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :