Legal and governance experts have questioned the credibility of the embattled Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah and her fellow commissioners to manage the forcoming frsh presidential elections.
Electoral stakeholders told Ansah and commissioners at the National Elections Consultative Forum (Necof) meeting in Blantyre on Friday that they have no trust in the current electoral body.
The civil society organisations like the Church and Society of Livingstonia Synod of CCAP and opposition political parties took turns telling the MEC commissioners not to manage the forthcoming elections because they did not have the trust of the people.
UTM secretary general Patricia Kaliati actually told Ansah in the face that “even in a family where there is no trust, nothing works no matter how good one partner can be thereafter.”
Kaliati said political parties, save for governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP, have no trust in the commission and must not continue doing anything in relation to the elections.
Electoral stakeholders also reminded the commissioners that the Public Appointment Committee of Parliament recommended to President Peter Mutharika to fire them for incompetence and lacking capacity to organise elections.
But Ansah irked the opposition when she said: “Is there any mad person here? Do you know the meaning of incapability?”
UTM Party director of publicity Joseph Chidanti Malunga censures her.
“Don’t display your arrogance when answering questions madam chair,” said Malunga.
Meanwhile, governance expert Henry Chingaipe said after the Constitutional Court found the current MEC grossly incompetent to manage elections the good governance of the elections will not be achieved because the entire commission is “still clinging to power.”
He said in quotes reported in the local press: “ I don’t see whether people found to be grossly incompetent can be expected to run the election and be trusted to manage the process well.
“I don’t think the aspect of good governance will be achieved as far as the current group of commissioners will run the election. The current group is against the Rule of Law. They filed a stay order and it was thrown out [by Supreme Court of Malawi] The Commission and the chairperson are resistsing the rule of law.”
Garton Kamchezera, a law professor at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima), said the commission, despite being led by judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal, does not understand and pay regards to what the Constitution requires in Section 12 that “those that exercise powers reated to the State can only sustain such powers on the basis of sustained trust.”
He said to continue exercising that, therefore, they need to sustain that trust.
“This set of commissioners is either so oblivious or they don’t care whether people have trust in them or not, which is a big problem,” Kamchezera said in quotes reported by The Nation daily newspaper on Tuesday.
But DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi said as a governing party, they felt MEC commissioners must carry on and make the necessary preparations for the fresh elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :