Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera has said the country is fighting two “fierce battles” at the same time.
Chakwera told a news conference in Lilongwe on Wednesday that the first battle is to have a competent and credible fresh presidential election.
He said the second battle is to stop the spread of coronavirus pandemic and survive the economic and social hardships it brings.
“As far as the fresh election is concerned, to have a credible election means being able to vote and having confidence that your vote is protected,” he said.
But Chakwera cautioned that votes of Malawians “are not safe”, accusing the Malawi Electoral Commission of not doing enough to protect them.
He said there is a “criminal scheme” at the electoral body that threatens the protection of votes.
Chakwera said MCP has gathered objective material evidence that the MEC Voters’ roll itself is compromised.
“You already know that people tied to the DPP [the governing Democratic Progressive Party] have been going around buying and collecting National IDs from Malawians, and you have all heard that the National Registration Bureau [NRB] has been registering minors in the south of the country.
“What you may not know is how the DPP has been using NRB IDs and the NRB Register to corrupt the MEC Voters’ roll,” he said.
He said NRB National IDs of minors have been used to create fake voters and ghost voters in the MEC Voters’ Roll.
“These fake voters and ghost voters in the MEC Voters’ Roll were already used in the 2019 elections, but the criminals did it without anyone noticing. Now that a fresh election has been ordered, the DPP has been busy gathering more NRB IDs and adding minors to the NRB Register, thinking that they can use the same method to create more fake voters and ghost voters in the MEC Voters’ Roll.
“But today I am blowing the whistle on this criminal syndicate because we have caught them red handed,” said Chakwera.
He called on MEC Voters’ Roll to audited and cleaned as well as the ID database.
“Without doing so, the list of voters in MEC’s voters’ roll will still include stolen identities and other anomalies. If these criminals can steal your ID number from the NRB and create a fake voter in the MEC voters’ roll, all without taking your National ID number, imagine what they will steal when they get you to surrender your National ID card,” said Chakwera.
He said DPP has stolen “too much” from the people of Malawi already.
“Your taxes are being stolen. Your medicines are being stolen. Your disaster relief funds are being stolen. Your votes were stolen. So, it is not easy to hear that even your very identity has been targeted by thieves,” he said.
Chakwera said he has joined forces with the country’s estranged vice-president Saulos Chilima, who is also UTM Party president, “to fight against those who
hijacked the 2019 elections to steal the presidency, and have joined forces to unite Malawi, we will join forces to stop those who are using the NRB data to create ghost voters at MEC and Covid-19 ghost beneficiaries at MEDEF.”
During the media briefing, information technology (IT) expert Daud Suleman made a presentation as part of a report the party’s IT team was tasked to compile following its investigations into reports that some minors were being registered for national IDs.
It was beamed on television monitor data showing children aged below 16 have been given NRB Identity card number and then registers in MEC voters roll.
But DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi speaking on Times Radio denied that the party is using MEC and NRB to rig the votes.
“It is not true, it is them MCP and UTM doing the dirty work,” said Dausi.
He described the rigging allegations as “political paranoia” from the opposition which is sniffing defeat in the fresh elections.
Human Rights Defenders Coaliton (HRDC) recently raised an alarm on the transfer of Mcford Somanje to the NRB as director, as they allehed that he was placed to the bureau to manipulate the database.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :