There has been revelations that Treasury deposited K4 billion into a bank account named the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) at Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on the eve of the May 21 Tripartite Elections, fuelling suspicion that the money could have been part of ‘buying’ staff to help in ‘mismanagement’ of the polls.
But the chief elections officer Sam Alfandika has downplayed such fears , said a day before the polls, the electoral body had many people to pay their dues including field staff hence the payment from Treasury through Reserve Bank of Malawi cheque number 127883 dated May 202019.
Alfandika said the bank account named after his post continue to get billions “because we are still making payments to people who rendered their services to the commission during the elections.”
But critics say this was a “secret account” and the money could possibly be used t bribe commissioners and other people.
“It if twas clean money, it should have passed through the mainstream MEC account,” observed one.
One suggested that the court must be moved to compel the bank to make available for public scrutiny statements of the account so the the nation should know how much money was channelled through the account, the signatories, who authorised the opening of the account and for what purposes.
The development comes at a time when petitioners are seeking nullification of the presidential results in the May 21 Tripartite Elections at the Constitutional Court intended to examine bank accounts of the country’s electoral staff to track possible bribe.
The opposition lawyers needed to know whether any MEC staff had had transactions in their accounts that are unusual, that could not be explained in terms of inflows of funds.
However, a panel of five judges of the High Court of Malawi comprising Healey Potani, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga, Redson Kapindu and Mike Tembo, dismissed the petitioners’ request for MEC to release bank details of its data entry clerks, saying such action was beyond the mandate of the electoral body.
The court observed that allowing MEC access to the staff’s bank accounts would be an infringement of their right to privacy.
In the case, the country’s immediate past vice-president Saulos Chilima, who represented UTM Party in the presidential race, is the first petitioner while Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera is the second petitioner with President Peter Mutharika and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as first and second respondents, respectively.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :