Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it is prepared for the 15th December by-elections. Commissioner Jean Mathanga said this on Wednesday in Phalombe district when she was opening orientations for District Elections Support Team (DEST) on the by-elections.
“Our programs are all within the timeframe that we had planned them to take place. We are briefing our DEST members on the upcoming parliamentary by-elections. These are very important stakeholders for MEC because they will supervise elections at district level.”
Mathanga added that MEC is expecting DEST members to do the work guided by the code of conduct as they are not suppose to be engaged in any malpractices and the expectation from them is very high.
“DEST members are here on behalf of MEC, we can not be everywhere. We are reminding them that they shouldn’t be partisan in any way, they should remember at all times that they are serving the Malawi national. They should take themselves as MEC in the field.”
District Commission for Phalombe who is also DEST member, Rodrick Mateauma commended MEC for the orientations saying that the approach will be different as they are going to take proper steps in order to facilitate smooth running of the by-elections.
“We are very ready and it could not be the first time for DEST members to help MEC in running elections because some of the members have been in this business for quite sometime and we are aware that the by-elections are coming after a court ruling.”
Mateauma also said that DEST is critical in terms of elections because it works under delegated authority from MEC as such there is need to align to electoral roles.
“DEST is very important. As front line staff in the district we need to make sure that we are indeed very ready in terms of preparations and MEC should be assured that we are there to undertake the activities as delegated.”
DEST members have been trained on proper procedures on managing free, fair and credible by-elections.