Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Dr Chifundo Kachale has received applauds for the way he has managed the historic fresh presidential elections which have been revered as credible.
Kachale – appointed to the task on June 7 – took over from Justice Jane Ansah, who left with a batters image after the 2019 nullified elections in which she was declared incompetent by the court and parliament.
But Kachale, a judge of the High Court of Malawi and a former journalist who worked at Times Media, has been hailed for the way he has delivered a credible elections won by former opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera.
Dean of law at Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Dr Sunduzwayo Madise credited Kachale for his leadership at the Commission.
“Justice Dr Kachale has demystified the Electoral Commission chairmanship, making complex things simple is a mark of a genius,” said Madise, who was also an observer.
Malawians went to the polls again after the Constitutional Court ruled the May 2019 elections null and void due to “widespread, systematic and grave” irregularities. That ruling was challenged by outgoing president Peter Mutharika and later upheld by the Malawi Supreme Court.
There were a number of marked changes between the two elections, according to political analyst Boniface Dulani from the University of Malawi.
“Generally speaking, the quality and organization was a lot better than last year’s annulled election; the new leadership at the electoral commission placed emphasis on the fact that any electoral staff who messed up would be personally held liable,” Dulani pointed out.
“A lot of the polling staff took that to heart– they were a lot more cautious in the way they did things than before,” adds Dulani, who was also an observer in the election.
“That’s why we’ve seen almost no use of the correction fluid tippex, which characterized last year’s election,” he said.
Kachale, had three-and-a-half weeks to organize an election, and while there were a few glitches that were logistical, including missing materials, it was more transparent, according to Dulani.
“There is no comparison to last year’s ‘tippex election’,” commented Pemphero Wamwale Mphande, who ran as a member of parliament last year and lost.
However, defected President Peter Mutharika, who had sought a second five-year term, earlier on Saturday called the rerun of the election “the worst in Malawi’s history”.
He alleged his party’s monitors had been beaten and intimidated during Tuesday’s election, but the Malawi Human Rights Commission, an observer, called the vote peaceful and transparent.
Chakwera won with 58 per cent of the vote, or 2.6 million votes out of 4.4 million cast. Mutharika received 1.7 million.
Kachale, while announcing the results, acknowledged that “it has been a very interesting journey.” He said turnout was 64 per cent of 6.8 million registered voters.
The husband to the country Director of Public Prosecution, Mary Kachale, Justice Kachale hailed the previous team of commissioners and formed chairperson Ansah for their contributions in the the electoral process.
He commended the previous team of commissioners for performing the necessary electoral processes prior to his appointment, adding that most of the work pertaining to the fresh presidential election had already been done by the time the new team assumed their roles.
Kachale also hailed his team of commissioners for their hardwork and dedication.
The MEC chief also thanked security agencies for their extensive logistical support and a robust security arrangement, which created the necessary conditions for a smooth election.
He further thanked the media for coverage and government for financially supporting the election.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :