The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Justice Chifundo Kachale has contradicted the Minister of Finance, Felix Mlusu, on the preparedness of the Commission to demarcate wards and constituencies.
Mlusu told members of Parliament (MPs) in the National Assembly that the K500 million meant for the demarcation process has been reallocated to other votes because the Commission was not ready for the exercise this year.
The Treasury Czar said the government will wait for an advice from MEC before taking the next direction on the matter.
But Kachale told Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) that it was unfair for Mlusu to state that the Commission was not ready for the exercise.
“As we meet today, the Commission wishes to inform you, our key stakeholders that the decision was revisited because in truth it wasn’t fair to say we are not ready and out of the K500 million, K300million has been allocated for this exercise in the current budget, which may be beefed up for during the mid-year review if necessary. The initial budget of the Commission for this exercise is K1.3 billion,” said the MEC chairperson.
He disclosed that with the K300million that has been allocated, the Commission will be able to roll out some preliminary activities that can fit within the allocation with the anticipation that either during the mid-term review or during the 2021-22 financial year the remaining amount shall be allocated for the Commission to finish the exercise.
Kachale also reiterated that the demarcation exercise will be a very consultative process.
“All critical stakeholders will be involved. Within the planned activities are meetings with presidents of political parties, the CMD board, the National Election Consultative Forum (NECOF), and Members of Parliament. The Commission will also set up demarcation committees at the council level which will be the main forum driving the process,” Kachale said.
“This should assure all stakeholders who were anxious that there might not be a platform for them to or contribute their views that is not entirely true. What we have resisted as the Commission is the invitation by other stakeholders to pre-emptive about how many constituencies will be created.
“It will be very premature for us as a Commission to say we are undertaking consultations but we already have a solution in our pockets, we don’t think then the consultation will be an honest conversation. We will be sharing the plan that we have and the methodology that we are going to use in the demarcation process in the forums that we have indicated with the presidents of the political parties, secretaries general, the CMD and MPs,” he said.
Kachale added that they will engage all the stakeholders before launching the actual process and all issues that the stakeholders may have will be addressed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :