Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Maxon Mbendera has reacted to a Nyasa Times columnist who linked him to the President Peter Mutharika’s family tree, saying he is “flattered” but he is “not related to the Mutharikas.”
Justice Mbendera was reacting to an article that was published on Nyasa Times under the headline, “Malawi poor country and failed state” on Thursday, February 26, 2015 by columnist Hastings Kandoje.
“I am flattered that Nyasa Times believes that I am a cousin to His Excellency President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika. But the reality is that I am not related to the Mutharikas either by lineage or by marriage. The simple truth is this: – I come from Lizulu, Ntcheu,” Mbendera stated.
He explained: “My father and mother were from neighbouring villages (they are both gone). My father came from Mzamani Village and my mother from Kapala Village, T.A. Chakhumbira, Lizulu, Ntcheu. My home village is therefore Kapala. My biological brother is the next Village Headman. I am presently an Impi of His Majesty the King of the Maseko Ngoni people, Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani V.”
Apparently, former president late Bingu wa Mutharika, the elder brother of the incumbent, is on record saying Ntcheu was his second home as his mother came from there and also buried there.
The columnist also nailed MEC chair on the chaotic May 20, 2014 elections.
Mbendera dogged commenting on the issue, arguing that “Malawians are tired of this issue.”
“I suspect any statistician would not struggle to come to the truth of those elections. The data is available and can be accessed at any time,” said Mbendera.
“To suggest that I as Chair influenced those results is an insult to my fellow Commissioners, the experts and staff I work within the Commission and all Malawians of good will who participated in those elections,” said Mbendera.
The author mentioned that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will perpetually be jinxed by legitimacy issues because it came to power not through the ballot but through the courts and at the instigation of MEC chair Mbendera.
MEC spokesman Sangwani Mwafulira said the Commission reiterate on the legitimacy of the results of the 2014 elections as “a reflection of the will of the electorate despite the challenges faced.”
But Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) described the May 20 Tripartite Elections as lacking fairness, transparency and credibility and questioned the legitimacy of the eventual winner and incumbent President Peter Mutharika.
He said the innuendo that Mbendera is related to Mutharika is “grossly untrue.”
When Nyasa Times asked the columnist to back-up his claims of Mbendera being a cousin to Mutharika, Kandoje said: “I will address it in an article and also tackle the hacking saga with facts.”
Mwafulirwa nonetheless said MEC will accept “constructive criticism” from stakeholders in the spirit of wanting to continuously improve the delivery of service to the people of Malawi.
The 2014 tripartite elections were marred by chaos and several irregularities and court actions, including injunctions aimed at stopping its release and at one point former head of State Joyce Banda attempted in vain to nullify the vote.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :