Malawi rights defenders ask MEC to be ‘proactive’ on heightening rigging claims

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has expressed dissatisfaction at the rate rumors of elections rigging are thriving in the country  ahead of the Tuesday watershed polls, saying they are worrisome towards the credibility of Tripartite Elections; and, have since asked pollster the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to be on top of the situation.

Mtambo: Fears May 19 elections will not be credible

In a letter addressed to MEC chairperson, Jane Ansah, and copied to secretary generals of the seven parties participating in this year’s election, HRDC demands a “response to and position on serious allegations regarding electoral process ahead of voting day.”

Signed by Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence—national and deputy national chairpersons respectively—HRDC leetr which Nyasa Times has a copy, urges MEC to take “seriously” and “respond in a timely manner” to emerging allegations and concerns regarding the ruling party’s rigging of the upcoming tripartite elections.

According to the statement, in particular, HRDC wants the pollster to ascertain whether rumours that DPP has employed cadets under the guise and uniforms of the Malawi Police Service (MPS) to carry pre-marked ballot papers towards rigging the elections are true.

“Second, we inquire after the rationale of non-inclusion of police officers in Chikhwawa and Nsanje in electoral monitoring. Finally, we are deeply concerned about the allegations that MACRA will condone the shut down of electronic communication and social media platforms on or around Election Day.

“We remind MEC that their duty lies with serving Malawians and not any particular political party. Thus, we call upon MEC to proactively respond to each of these disturbing allegations in a timely and comprehensive manner so as to ensure Malawians and other stakeholders that the upcoming elections will be free, fair, and credible,” reads HRDC statement in part.

The letter comes hours after state vice president and UTM Party torchbearer, Saulos Chilima, held an early press briefing at his Area 12 official residence in the capital Lilongwe Sunday morning in which he insinuated that there were serious rigging plots being orchestrated by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Chilima mentioned Augustine Chihuri—former Commissioner General of Zimbabwe police—as being hired by the DPP to recruit cadets under the guise and uniforms of the MPS during polling day.

He demanded that Chihuri “leave this country immediately.”

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msundu wumo
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msundu wumo

Timothy Mtambo is a shame to the Nation, perpetrator of false propaganda to create tension among people, only to enrich himself. Its quiet embarrassing to see people of his caliber going back doors to enrich themselves at the expense of Malawians. Thank God he got exposed.

If I were you, I would resign immediately because the shame is too huge to swallow.

BigMan
Guest
BigMan

MEC needs to be investigating and verifying these things on the ground so that they can address the concerns, if the claims are untrue then they need to say so. But for the Chairperson to just be dismissive without providing concrete reasons for her stance is just a recipe for trouble. BE PROACTIVE. GIVE REGULAR UPDATES.

My Name is Salim (nkhwazi)
Guest
My Name is Salim (nkhwazi)

There is no smoke without fire but I think that fire took place in 2014. As of 2019 elections let’s hope pray for peace,coolness and calm. This is the most anticipated, hyped & talked about election since 1994. The stakes are high emotions and tension are high and can be smelt in the air. May the party chosen by the people govern and let the ones who voted for someone else accept the results no matter how hard a pill it may be to swallow. Malawi’s peace loving nature is on the line . “O god Bless our land of… Read more »

Paperback
Guest

How do I rig this vote? Easy. Just watch me on tuesday night. From 2200hrs.