MEC chair suspected of aiding opposition MCP, ‘soft spot’ on DPP

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairman Justice Maxon Mbendera is suspected of helping opposition Malawi Congress party (MCP) with hefty sums of money deposited into the party’s bank accounts.

Suspicion of Mbendera bankrolling MCP comes when his Secretary was sent to do deposits in various MCP Bank accounts.

Nyasa Times has information that on April 10, 2014, Justice Mbendera’s Secretary a Mrs E. Kulujiri deposited K100, 000 into an MCP account no.0070873005015 held at NBS Bank Ginnery Corner Branch.

Justice Mbendera: Put on spot
Justice Mbendera: Put on spot

“In fact this is just one of the many deposits that she has been depositing,” said our source.receipt

Sources close to Mbendera said the MEC Chair has not hidden his desire to Chakwera emerge winner in the presidential polls or the DPP’s Peter Mutharika ascends to the throne.

Ruling People’s Party spokesperson Ken Msonda in an interview said that the people of Malawi have the ultimate power to decide who is their next leader and not an individual. He said President Banda is at the pole position because of her pro-poor and sound policies.

“God puts leaders in their positions; no person can decide who should be Malawi’s next president. All we know is that President Joyce Banda is a leader who was anointed by God to rule Malawi. It is God who put President Banda on that position and therefore it is the same God that will protect her from evil, she is the anointed one,” said Msonda.

United Democratic Front (UDF) Publicity Secretary Ken Ndanga in a separate interview said MEC is biased in the way it is handling some political parties accusing the electoral body of not levelling the playing field for all political parties.

“MEC is not levelling the playing field for all. Not at all. Not at all when you think of the issue surrounding the voters roll. We should not expect a credible election with a voter’s roll where names of registered voters cannot be traced. At least we are vindicated because we wrote MEC way back in October last year asking them (MEC) to consider sending the voters roll to all stakeholders before upon completion of every phase because we had envisaged that situation,” said Ndanga.

But Ndanga refused to speak about Justice Mbendera’s political allegiance.

“We cannot completely speak about Justice Mbendera’s political allegiance because that is a bit difficult to prove. All we know is that he was appointed as Attorney General (AG) by the late President Bingu wa Mutharika when DPP was in power and whether that makes him DPP or not, is not for us to judge, ” said Ndanga.

DPP’s flamboyant mouthpiece Nicholas Dausi was adamant to comment on the matter but said that it is a not true that Mbendera has a soft spot on DPP.

Mbendera is one of the few judges that have been promoted in a short period of time from the High Court to the Supreme Court without even passing any substantial number of rulings as it is normally expected.

He is likely to be earmarked for the Chief Justice post as the incumbent Chief Justice, Anastasia Msosa has less than a year to go before she retires.

But MEC publicist Sangwani Mwafulirwa in an interview parried away all the assertions that the electoral body or the chairperson favours any candidate saying MEC is independent and impartial.

Said Mwafulirwa in response to a Nyasa Times questionnaire: “The (Electoral) Commission operates in an impartial manner where the guiding principles are based on the provision of the law. All electoral stakeholders have always attested to this and expressed their confidence with the current commission being chaired by Justice Mbendera. No political party or electoral stakeholder has come out in the open to accuse the Commission of bias.”

Mwafulirwa said the Commission is doing all it can to ensure that the 20 May elections are held in a credible manner to the satisfaction of all stakeholders adding that the Commission has further provided several  platforms where all stakeholders are always invited to be consulted on or briefed by the Commission on monthly basis. Anyone who has issues are allowed to express them at that forum.

The Commission’s spokesperson emphasized that in its own assessment, it is convinced that it has treated all players in the electoral process equally.

Asked to comment on the controversy hovering over the voters’ roll, Mwafulirwa conceded that there have been challenges with the preliminary voters roll that was issued by the Commission at first.

“It was a hard decision for the Commission to make but still had to make it because it was in the best interest the elections. The Commission decided to stop the exercise and rectify the inconsistencies that were observed. These have been done with, and we have managed to be deal with it, that is why we opened centres for the first phase of voter verification,” said Mwafulirwa.

Malawi goes to a three-tier polls on May 20 to elect a President, Members of Parliament and


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