The K4 billion cheque from Treasury to a Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) current account named Chief Elections Officer – is yet another propaganda that collapses in the face of truth.
The desperation in Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM camp to find evidence to support their petition in the elections case is reaching a breaking point. The latest of their stunts is to the K4 billion payout.
MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera and UTM’s Saulos Chilima filed the petition in court last month challenging the Presidential results of the May 21 elections.
However, to-date, they have struggled to find evidence to prove their case. They have piled before themselves tons of documents hoping to find the evidence in that haystack.
The leakage of the cheque is one of their propaganda to justify their case. However, this also fails miserably, as Chilima and Chakwera have deliberately put aside facts on the cheque.
Fact of the matter
In their propaganda, they have maligned MEC Chief Elections Officer Sammie Alufandika as the recipient of the money.
In directly attacking Alufandika, they hope to justify their allegation that MEC officials were bribed to falsify figures of the elections in favour of President Peter Mutharika.
However, the facts of the matter are that the said account is not a personal account. It does not belong to Alufandika. It belongs to the office of the Chief Elections Officer.
It is an institutional account which has existed even prior to the previous elections in 2014. There are also institutional signatories to the account. It was opened legitimately, and for legitimate purposes.
How the account came about
Due to delays in government financial transactions, MEC was bearing the consequences due to the time-bound nature of some of its activities. Therefore, MEC pleaded with the Government in 2013 to assist the elections body so that it does not suffer delays in clearance of Treasury cheques.
Government then resolved and authorised MEC to open an account in the name of an office, hence the Chief Elections Officer.
Government releases the funds through IFMIS and through Regional Treasury Cashier. MEC then processes the funds to be deposited into that account.
The activities through this account are auditable – just as it happens with all other accounts.
Chilima and Chakwera are aware of this legitimate process. However, they have deliberately avoided it knowing that it backfires on their strategy to try their case in the public court.
They filed their petition while they did not have evidence to prove their case. That is why they have kept amending their documents in court. They have also kept asking those who have evidence to bring it forth.
Through their lawyers, they have been demanding information from every stakeholder in the elections.
The leakage of the K4 billion cheque is one of their tactics on psychological coercion of the five judges that are hearing the case.
It is another of their strategies to create an extra-judicial and illegal system where the case is tried through mob justice instead of the court system.
In their bid, they have attacked the judges themselves claiming three of them have been bribed. They have been hustling them whenever they have been going to court such that they now go to court under military escort.
Chakwera and Chilima have also attacked MEC chair Justice Jane Ansah and all MEC Commissioners and staff, UNDP and all other stakeholders.
They have also been mobilizing people to maim and kill other Malawians and steal and destroy private and public property.
However, pressure is now mounting on them. Chakwera, Chilima and their CSO individuals have come under fire from Catholic Bishops and Malawians for organising violent demonstrations related to their election case. They are accused of conspiracy to usurp court duties and undermine constitutional means on dispute settlement.
Their pursuit is even made worse by the fact that all international observers and local election bodies highly-rated the elections as transparent and credible.
The African Union, European Union Election Observer Mission and SADC hailed the election as well-organized, credible, free and fair.
As part of the transparency initiatives, Malawi Electoral Support Network, NICE Trust and all political parties were allowed to run independent tally centres. Both MESN and NICE independently found that Mutharika had won the election.
- The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the editorial views of Nyasa Times