As the country is set to hold the court-sanctioned fresh presidential election on Tuesday June 23 Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says government on Friday disbursed K10 billion to the electoral body but there is a deficit of another K10 billion which it needs “urgently” to ensure smooth conduct of the electoral process.
MEC chairperson Dr Chifundo Kachale told a media briefing on Sunday that the Commission need the other K10 billion on the K29 billion allocation in the Mid-Year Budget as revised in February this year, which it asks Treasury to release as a matter of urgency.
“K10 billion deficit, we need the money, it was budgeted for this event. We are running an election that parliament has budgeted for,” said Kachale who is a judge of the High Court of Malawi.
“The budget is implemented by the executive and we are fully confident that they will honour it.
“This is not a private affair, this is a public duty with legal consequences and other ramifications,” said Kachale.
Kachale—appointed to the task on June 7 this year—told journalists that the Commission will still press to get the funds from Treasury to pay for services and goods procured to run the fresh elections.
“We need that money urgently and we will continue to engage the relevant parties so that they honour their commitments,” he said.
Last Thursday, Kachale bemoaned that vehicles to facilitate delivery of electoral materials were in short supply but on Sunday . said the Commission has hired the 226 trucks which have been inspected by the Plant and Vehicle Hire and Engineering Services (PVHES) and are being deployed.
“On Thursday we had a shortfall of 1,379 station wagons because government had mobilized 1,067 vehicles of the 2,446 we require. Today the Commission wishes to inform all stakeholders that we have hired 1,379 station wagons to meet the shortfall.
“The Commission has also hired 60 station wagons and double cabins for use in voter mobilization and education campaign. These have been mounted with loudhailer equipment and have been dispatched to the councils,” said Kachale.
However, he said with the Covid-19 pandemic, the commission has been forced to abandon some of the strategies for public outreach like meetings with traditional leaders because they bring a lot of people to one place which can make observance of physical distance difficult to achieve.
The Commission is satisfied that transport is no longer an issue that could hamper the effective delivery of the election on Tuesday, according to Kachale.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :