Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has a task to ensure its credibility is not damaged by taking action to Senior Chief Mwalweni of Rumphi who defied electoral laws at the weekend when he endorses ruling Democrtaic Progressive Party (DPP) for the May 21 elections.
Mwalweni said during a political rally held by Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango and DPP director of election Ben Phiri at Mphitapasi in Rumphi that people should vote for DPP candidates in the coming elections.
The chief who was chanting DPP slogans also said people should re-elect incumbent President Peter Mutharika who is already bringing development.
“We need to thank Professor Peter Mutharika for what he has done by voting for him,” he said.
Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwalweni conduct is in total defiance of the warning by the MEC chairperson Jane Aansah and chief elections officer Sam Alfandika that Chiefs are not allowed to be partisan and should, therefore, not affiliate themselves to political parties or candidates with the intention of influencing their subjects’ political choices.
Electoral stakeholders expect MEC to discipline Mwalweni to stop such lawlessness.
Ansah, a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal and a former Attorney General, said last week during the launch of official campaign that the Commission has already received reports that some traditional leaders are endorsing candidates and creating no-go zones for some candidates.
She also said Chiefs are not allowed to receive cash, goods or any material with a view to influence people to vote for a particular candidate or party or stop people from voting for candidates of their choice.
“Here, I am referring gifts with a view to influence his or her subjects to favour a certain candidate or political party. Such behaviour is corruption and punishable by law. Such matters shall be referred to the relevant authorities like the Anti-Corruption Bureau for prosecution,” said the MEC chairperson.
But MEC chairperson has asked parties that feel aggrieved to follow procedures in the code of conduct and report to the Multiparty Liason Committee (MPLC) which is chaired by the District Commissioners.
The MEC chairperson said the electoral body seeks to hold free, fair and credible elections. She said they have capacity to monitor all campaign activities.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :