Contrary to former president Peter Mutharika’s sentiments that the fresh presidential elections were not fair for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has hailed the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) led by Justice Dr Chufundo Kachale and other stakeholders for the success of the same polls, saying they were free, fair and peaceful.
In a statement issued on Saturday, 27th June, 2020, signed by all bishops from the eight dioceses of the Catholic Church in Malawi including their Chairman, Archbishop Thomas Msusa, the ECM says Malawians exercised their democratic right on 23rd June, 2020 to elect a Republican President in the Fresh Presidential Election in the wake of the nullified May 2019 Presidential Election.
“We particularly applaud the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Malawi Defence Force (MDF), Malawi Police Service (MPS), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the media and the citizens for attaining this democratic milestone amidst political, institutional and financial hiccups and uncertainties,” reads the statement in part.
“The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has displayed very high level of professionalism in presiding over the fresh election. It is further gratifying and commendable that the newly constituted MEC effectively delivered the election while facing acute financial deficiencies. Such competence and exquisite capacity in handling the polls has restored the public trust in election management in Malawi,” reads another part of the statement.
The Bishops have congratulated Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera and Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima for ascending to take over the office of the President of the Republic of Malawi and that of Vice President, respectively while strongly calling upon the two to live up to their promises and committed to fighting corruption, enforcing the rule of law and Constitutionalism, quality public service delivery, economic development for all which is a true meaning of leadership which is at the service of citizens and national unity.
“We Catholic Bishops pledge to continue praying for peace, unity and harmony in this country. And we invite all the faithful to continue praying for the same,” concludes the statement.
Prior to the fresh elections, the bishops issued a pastoral letter in which they categorically emphasized on the need for choosing a leader who is not corrupt and nepotistic.
Meanwhile, reports reaching Nyasa Times indicate that polling clerks that tirelessly worked hand in hand with Presiding Officers in administering the fresh election have not yet been paid by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).