Two citizens have given Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah up to seven days to resign – Ansxit – or face court action.
George Ngwenyama Ngwira and Aaron Kayira have written Ansah and each of the commissioners through lawyer Jivason Kaziphatike to vacate their offices by Tuesday, February 18, 2020 or face court action.
In a letter which Nyasa Times has seen, Ngwira and Kayira say the commissioners have been found by the Constitutional Court to have managed the May 21, 2019 presidential election incompetently resulting in serious irregularities that led to the nullification of the poll results.
“If a judicial declaration of your incompetence to handle elections had been made before your appointment, you would obviously have been disqualified for appointment into the membership of the commission and as such, you must cease to be a member of the commission,” reads the letter in part.
The letter says apart from the judicial pronouncement of the commissioners incompetency, their appearance during the parliamentary hearing this week, it was clear from their responses that they departed in one way or another from the requirements of the parliamentary and presidential Act.
The letter says the commissioners admitted that fake and duplicate sheets were used during the last elections and that the election results were announced before the same had been signed by each one of them.
“Our clients lament that you violated their political rights under Section 40 of the Constitution during the 2019 presidential election,” says the letter.
The letter also said that the incompetence with which they managed the elections had resulted in the loss of billions of money of which is their money from taxes.
The letter says the lawyer would proceed to go to court if the commissioners fail to resign by this Tuesday.
The letter says the court would be requested to declare the commissioners that they cease to hold their positions at the pollster in view of the incompetencies.
MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa confirmed each of the commissioners received the letter and said he could not speak for them because decisions would be made by individual commissioners.
A parliamentary committee has been holding a public hearing on the competence of MEC commissioners to handle another election 150 days time from February 3 2020 following the Constitutional Court ruling.
The court found that the May 21, 2019 presidential election was marred with irregularities and anomalies that had been so widespread, systematic and grave that the election result had been seriously compromised.
However, Ansah said she could not comment because she had not yet seen the letter.
Ansah said she could only resign in the event that the Supreme Court has upheld the Constitutional Court ruling, but commissioner Mary Nkosi said she was waiting for parliament’s Public Appointments Committee to recommend to President Peter Mutharika to have the commissioners fired so that she gets her share of state benefits which include a gratuity and a vehicle.
Another commissioner Moffat Banda whilst admitting irregularities and anomalies were there, said he would not resign over them, arguing that instead he would ensure that the next poll were irregularities and anomalies free.
A bid by Mutharika and the MEC to suspend the ruling was rejected by the Constitutional Court on Wednesday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :