Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has attributed the numerous irregularities registered in the last week’s Tripartite Elections to Clerks and Returning Officers who are suspected to have deliberately flouted the procedures.
MEC said it will prosecute every one of them who had a hand in creating the irregularities such as bloated numbers of casted votes or voters by tampering with recording sheets.
Chief Elections Officer, Willie Kalonga in an exclusive interview with Capital Radio in Timve Zinizeni program, admitted that the Commission was let down by the hired Clerks and Returning Officers.
“We have noted through vote counting that most Clerks and Returning Officers did not do their job properly. That’s unacceptable. They failed us. They were handling one of the critical issues which require professionalism and dedication, but they really failed,” said Kalonga.
Kalonga said most of irregularities were particularly about forged electoral documents that have bloated or ghost figures, adding the problems concern almost all parties that participated in the elections.
“We are working with police to ensure whosoever forged these documents should face the law. We have evidence and we know them. Some of them are teachers. They will surely face the law because that was irresponsible,” explained Kalonga.
He also the issue of irregularities came about after some people had failed to hack its digital vote tallying system, arguing “The system is what revealed all this. It could not be easily penetrated. It blocked all hackneyed data this is why we are going for manual recount.”
Kalonga. however also attributed the Commission’s failure to effectively conduct the elections due to funding and transportation problems was it was failing to pay its staff as well as delivering the electoral materials to the polling stations in time.
He said the recount of the votes was only way to authenticate legitimate winners considering the numerous irregularities the electoral process faced and that every vote would be counted.
But he was quick to point out that elections were peaceful and fair as every registered citizen was accorded opportunity to vote despite challenges.
Meanwhile, MEC has been embroidered into legal battle with DPP as well as New Labour Party president Friday Jumbe and other independent candidates obtaining injunctions stopping the Commission from proceeding with the vote recount.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :