Outgoing head of Electoral Services at the Malawi Electoral Commissioner (MEC) has advised government to make the pollster have a protected vote so that the electoral process is not interrupted.
Reverend Emmanuel Chimkwita Phiri, who leaves office on Tuesday along with other commissioners, said during his tenure of office, the electoral boday faced unprecedented lack of funding which crippled some of its activities.
“An election is a process. We start preparations for an election years before the actual day of voting this is why we have a calendar of events which we implement every month or every year so without funds, all the events are crippled,” he said.
He said the only way to ensure smooth funding is to make the MEC funding a protected vote.
Chimkwita Phiri said it was a very bad experience that after the MEC budget was approved by parliament, MEC had to go to treasury begging for money and in most cases the money was not released.
He said making MEC funding a protected vote would force the government give MEC all the money in the budget at once so that it implements projects without problems.
Rev Chinkwita said MEC depended much on donors for its activities, saying this was not supposed to be the case.
The outgoing commissioner also said there was need for the government to release money for biometric registration.
“This type of registration is very important to avert electoral fraud. Malawi is the only country in Sadc not registering its citizens through biometric,” he said.
Chimkwita Phiri asked President Peter Mutharika to appoint new commissioners as soon as the old ones leave office in order not to disrupt the electoral calendar and activities.
“We were appointed 19 months before the elections, this was not good because we did not have ample time to prepare for the elections on time. An election is a process, it is not the voting day only,” he said.
MEC chairman Maxon Mbendera will continue in his capacity until October.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :