Malawi electoral commissioners making obnoxious demands

My grandfather had a popular phrase that he often said when given demands that he considered out-of-sync or simply foolish. He usually said you don’t fix windows when a house is burning.Loose cannon

The recent demands by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commissioners for a 170 percent salary hike exactly fit in the bill. The demand is so outrageous and honestly bland. The context within which the demand has been made, one would be forced to conclude that MEC Commissioners or whoever advised them to make the demand must be high on some illegal drug, or that the sweetness of money has gone too much into their heads and has eaten the part that is used for thinking.

Everyone, except perhaps for toddlers, knows that this country is up in flames (not the flames that are burning markets every week). The warm Heart of Africa (now turning into a hot frying pan) is becoming a very unpleasant place to live in by the day. Peter Mutharika and his DPP government have huge challenges to save Malawi.

That government is a provider of social amenities such as drugs in hospitals, is becoming just a distant memory. Recently, some government hospitals such as Dedza and Dowa district hospitals, announced that they have completely stopped providing food for their patients due to lack of funds.

Women are giving birth on hospital floors with no one to attend to them for lack of enough hospital beds and medical personnel. Goodall Gondwe has just confirmed that budgetary support would not be returning at all. He appears clueless on where the country’s salvation would come from, only finding solace in the meaningless and hopeless statement that “government will do something”.

A few weeks ago, President Mutharika received a good bit of rattling for taking an entourage of 115 people to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and hiring an expensive private jet, blowing over K300 million in the process, amidst the country’s teething poverty.

And to add salt to an already open wound, the President got angry, banged tables and boasted that he was already a millionaire before becoming president, when prompted to explain the rationale of taking such a large entourage.

Civil society groups are calling for the resignation of Mutharika for his perpetual failure to address the country’s economic problem, and the jury is already out on that one.

It is inconceivable therefore for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), an organization that is run on taxpayers’ money, to begin to demand money in these desperate times.

The fact that the so called Commissioners are not able to see the folly of their actions can only be construed as an exposition of their gross incompetence and insensitivity.

Not long ago, MEC was in the news for financial scandals and maladministration, where the same Commissioners and top management awarded themselves hefty loans and expensive vehicles under very dubious circumstances. An audit discovered that some commissioners pocketed allowances for foreign trips that were never made; it was also discovered that some members of management operated parallel bank accounts that were used to siphon tax payer’s money for personal gain. Public funds were never accounted for.

Asking for a 170 percent salary increase amidst this cacophony, and when there are other unresolved issues pertaining to incompetence and pure fraud at the Commission, is just not being fair to Malawians. It is more of a continuation of the lack of reason and incompetence that has been the hallmark of MEC since it presided over the most shambolic elections in the country’s history last year.

“Lust and greed are more gullible than innocence.”-Mason Cooley

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Athu awa alindikhani yaikulu a ulula ingoti phee tiziona komwe zithele

Shouldn’t MEC Commissioners be working as Board Members of companies? Or are they Executive Commissioners? Why should they be put on a salary, housing allowance, fuel, utilities paid for, school fees for children, and even posh vehicles? If all board members of companies were given such obscene benefits, who would be responsible for maladministration and mismanagement? Aren’t they supposed to only give direction and policy guidelines to the Commission? Is this good Corporate Governance? How do the other Commissions operate? Public Service Commission, Teaching Service Commission, Health Service Commission??? Why should MEC be treated differently??? Someone must provide the answers… Read more »
Mr Dowa

No 4 am behind your comment it seems you are right,posachedwapa takamba za corruption ku Mec lero akufuna kuonjezeredwa malipiro? kikkkkkkk anauzidwa zambiri, Boma lipereke otherwise a Mec aulura akapanda kulandila zomwe anauzidwa

Kingster Bella
To your credit; I love your line of thinking. How ever, what you fail to assimilate is the consequence of opposing gangsters fighting for territorial control. When two criminal gangs fight for dominion, what will you expect? some kind like sensible fight? Logical thinking? Nay! I beg to differ.. You will experience senseless killings as bullets fly all over. My friend, don’t be deceived; the Party in power (DPP) & the Malawi Electoral Commision (MEC) fall within the same narrative. MEC sacrificially put DPP in power regardless of detrimental effects on its reputation, in other words they put their reputation… Read more »
advisory committee

Koma truly speaking their remuneration needs a more positive consideration. Most of their allowances are low like their sitting alliwance is k10,000 and mbendera gets less than what any ceo of a govt company like mera macra lihaco air cargo mitc is getting. Sometimes abale lets us not just criticise for the sake of it and sensationalize matters lets be considerate and objective


Komanso kunyenga anthu amenewa pasadutse mkazi Ali nate amuvule basi. Mufa bdi edzi u commissioner ukatha. Temporary staff yapatsidwa mimba zambirimbiri anthu multi ndi nsambi. Chiwand a chimenechi chafikwa kwa staff ntchito kuthetsa ma banja anzanua allowance achisankho atakupengetsani muzafa imfa yowawa


Financial mismanagement yake it yopanga ma commissioners OPANDA abale anu aku FINANCE a Khumbo Phiri ndi A Longwe. Bwanji musakuwatchula, CHIFUKWA ndi atumbuka anzanu eti?

Kodi mmene ankachita leak nkhaniyo sanakuuzeni kuti the incomplete AUDIT amanenayo inawatchula iwowo kuti akukanika ntchito eti?

Ndalama Za bomatu sizitheka kuba opanda a ku finance. Akupweteketsanitu amene akukuuzani unverified stories based on leaked incomplete AUDIT processes by biased and incompetent officials. When push comes to shove azakukanirani ngati Ntata or is it Garvey Karvei?

Asante sana

Issue ya MEC Kuba mavoti imandindabwitsa kobasi. Funso nkumati kodi Mavotiwo amabedwa azipani enawo ali kutiko. Komanso ma monitor azipani zinazo zinali kutiko. Moreover ma commissioner ali Ku MEC were chosen by the parties MCP inclusive. You mean Nancy Tembo wa MCP alolere kubela mavoti nkupeleka ku DPP? Amalawi learn to understand things, I wish MEC has a vigorous Civic education on how they do their JOB. Otherwise issue yakuba ma voti siyizatha. Amalawife tachulukana osanvetsetsa.

Captain Mediocrity

I thought parliament demanded a salary hike just a few weeks ago?parliament and MEC are part of an instutution known as govermment so if parliamentarians demanded an increment, what more other parts of government.

Kodi aMEC mumadana nawo chani??? Please simply tell us


Maybe the MEC are just looking for the reward they were promised if the last election results went the the way the DPP wanted…? If they do get their 170% pay rise, it will be evidence the government wants to keep their cooperation!

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