UTM Party president Saulos Chilima has made stinging and blistering attacks Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson, Jane Ansah, alleging she told staff at the pollster that they should help President Peter Mutharika win the election.
In a leaked letter seen by Nyasa Times calling for Ansah resignation as MEC chair, Chilima said she specifically mentioned that she did not want Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera to be elected because his running mate –Mohammed Sidik Mia – is a devout Muslim.
The letter states that there are “witnesses” working for MEC “who are willing to testify on record” to what Ansah a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Malawi, said.
“You further told them that I am too ambitious and hence not fit to be elected,” says the letter bearing the signature of Chilima.
Chilima, who is the former State vice-president, told a news conference recently in Lilongwe that the party has gathered evidence of misconduct by the head of the electoral body and that he would make available the letter calling for Ansah’s resignation if she did not resign within a specified period.
The UTM leader, who came third in the presidential race with 1.1 million votes and is challenging the results in court, alleges Ansah led a pro-Mutharika members of the electoral commission into celebrations when the “bogus results” started showing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader was leading.
“You attended a private celebration party for professor Mutharika and his supporters and followers,” says Chilima, the former corporate executive -turned-politician .
At various press conferences, Chilima says, Ansah lied to the nation that the opposition did not submit complaints and queries and that were submitted by others (147 in total) were resolved.
“Clearly, you are compromised and cannot discharge your sacred duties as independently as provided for in the relevant laws,” he says before calling on her to resign within five days.
Chilima says Ansah showed her preference to Mutharika in the manner she dealt with queries and complaints and her general conduct.
The UTM leader says that the elections were marred by serious irregularities perpetrated by individuals bent on circumventing the will of Malawians.
“It is clear that members of the commission were part and parcel of this criminal enterprise,” says Chilima.
Some of the irregularities, he says, include failure to collect and seal away extra ballot papers before counting and compiling results thereby making extra ballot papers available for post polling marking and stuffing to consummate the fraudulent results records or put future verification against the ballot paper in peril.
He also mentions of MEC failure to determine complaints before announcing the presidential return; refusal or failure to provide parties and other stakeholders with result records as required by law, thereby opening the results record to tampering and interference.
“Altering, transposing results among candidates, wrong summations in favour of the candidate declared winner; serious breach of security of the results records in favour of the candidate declared winner,” says Chilima in the letter.
He also claims that voters were allowed to cast more than one vote for the presidential election in areas where the declared winner supposedly had his main support as well as intimidation of party monitors and agents.
There was no immediate comment from Ansah as she is refusing to take questions on the issue but speculation is rife in social media that she is contemplating to step down as MEC chair and retire as Supreme Court judge as her credibility is now damaged and image seriously bruised.
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