MEC has no commissioners, terms expire

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has no commissioners following the end of their contracts, an official in the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) has confirmed.

The impeccable source who looks at government contracts of senior officials said Commissioners Ron Nkomba, Brown Chimphamba, Dick Mzumara, Mary Manyusa and Georgina Chikoko left MEC on Wednesday, the 18th of January, 2012 following the end of their 4-year term of office.

Commissioner Oliver Mwenifumbo died on 26th of November last year whilst Commissioner Jean Nankwenya was posted to diplomatic mission in the United States of America about 2 years ago.

Msosa: Lone worker in the elections commission

However, the Chairperson of the Commission Justice Anastazia Msosa remains until September this when her contract also comes to an end.

Justice Msosa is continuing because she was appointed at different times with the other commissioners.

However, Msosa is serving her last second term of office as chairperson to the Commission.

Government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati said the President will make “appointments” to the Commission soon and may decide to renew the commissioners’ contracts or get new ones.

Sources at the Commission speak of a huge relief to members of staff as a result of a cat and mouse chase between the staff at the secretariat and the commissioners.

The majority of secretarial staff at MEC has always complained of continuous interference by some Commissioners who get involved in the day to day operations of MEC including authorizing for local field trips and signatory to MEC’s bank accounts.

According to law, President Bingu wa Mutharika is expected to appoint fresh commissioners in consultation with key stakeholders in the electoral process including political parties.

Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) Aloisious Nthenda wants President Bingu wa Mutharika consult political parties when choosing the commissioners so that they are accepted by stakeholders.

Nthenda also appealed to the appointing authority, the President,  to speed up the appointments so that the 2014 electoral calendar is not disturbed.

Malawi hold next national elections in 2014. The country is expected for the first time to have a tripatriate polls, electing a president, members of parlimanet and local councillors.

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