Malawi Police has been urged to arrest Moses Kuchingale, a personal assistant to the Vice President, who is accused of impersonating a Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) official in the just-ended Mchinji West by-election.
Kuchingale is alleged to have visited a number of polling centres, namely; Mzura Full Primary School, Mchinji Community Day Secondary School, Mchinji Secondary School and Kamwendo Trading Centre while posing as a MEC official.
He denied the report but Police officer-in-charge (OC) in Mchinji, Maximus Thomson Bakali said they receiving a complaint against him.
Meanwhile, The Nation newspaper in its editorial comment on Monday said the matter involving Kuchingake on its own is “enough cause for worry as it has all the semblance of acts of rigging that have come to characterise such elections in the country.”
The newspaper has also fauled MEC in the way it handled the incident, saying one would have epected the electoral body to treat Kuchingale’s saga with all the seriousness it deserves “and act with speed other than making clains that the Commission is still aiting for a formal complaint on the case.”
The editorial comment says if indeed Kuchingale was spotted wearing a MEC attire, then he should by now have been arrested by the police pending investigations into the matter, saying impersonating a MEC official is nothing short of a criminal offence.
“We, therefore, urge MEC and the law enforcers to take this as a matter of urgency and ac on it the soonest if our electoral system is to remain credible,” reads the editorial comment in the paper.
The paper said it is also time MEC restored its public confidence by being an institution that is non-partisan when handling electoral matters.
The daily also reported that opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) it is seeking legal advice on how it can have Kuchingale face justice as the party suspects that he was on a mission to rig the by-election.
“When this incident happened, I was advised to write a formal complaint which I did and submitted [to] the constituency returning officer and the DC [district commissioner]. We felt MEC and law enforcers would handle this issue with high levels of professionalism because there is an element of crime being committed through impersonating a MEC official,” MCP director of elections Maxwell Thyolera is quoted as saying.
Thyolera said MCP is taking this matter further “ because we are tired of vote rigging in this country.”
He said: “ We will seek legal advice on how we can get justice in the event that MEC and law enforcers choose to disregard it.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :