Nest claims Malawi Electoral Commission ploy to rig votes through registration process

National Elections Systems Trust (Nest) officials are up in arms with the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP)  that the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)  has a ploy with the government to rig MCP votes in central region by ensuring most people do not vote.

Unandi: It is clear the voter registration exercise has not met the expectations of stakeholders

Nest executive director Unandi Banda said his organisation raised a red flag before the registration exercise to ensure that the phases went on simultaneously in all the three regions.

“The MCP has genuine concerns. We wonder why the central region should always be the experimental region. This is a ploy to rig elections. Rigging is a process and starts from registration. Registration is a sensitive exercise,” said Banda.

The registration exercise in Kasungu, Dedza and Salima, which has been marred by low turn out for the past two weeks comes to an end today.

Banda said the pollster would have started the first phase of the registration exercise with one district in each region.

“They need to change their work plan. They should have the registration phases spread across all the regions so that when there are problems, all the regions should be affected. The cost of error should be spread in all the regions not in one region as is the case now,” he said.

But Moffat Banda, a MEC commissioner said what Unandi has said is regrettable.

“We don’t work with the government. We work independently for the benefit of political parties,” he said.

He said it is the responsibility of all political parties to engage in civic education as well.

Moffat Banda disputed that there was low turn out in the three districts, saying the turn out has been impressive.

MCP wants MEC to extends the voter registration in Dedza, Kasungu and Salima due to technical hiccups and lack of mass sensitisation.

Reverend Maurice Munthali , the MCP publicity secretary,   said the opposition party is not satisfied with the manner the voter registration exercise has been conducted in the first phase.

Munthali said MEC did not do enough sensitisation for people ahead of the registration exercise.

He said the party feels MEC is not capable of handling the whole registration exercise because of persistent breakdown of registration equipment, lack or late delivery of fuel for generator sets, weak solar panels and inadequate registration materials, among other reasons.

Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) chairperson Steve Duwa also acknowledged the low turnout in all centres in the three districts under the first phase of the registration.

He attributed the poor turnout to lack of civic education and funding delays to accredited civil society organisations (CSOs).

The affected districts lie in the Central Region, which is widely regarded as an MCP stronghold based on the number of legislators and ward councillors in past elections.

The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has also asked MEC to extend the registration  process in the three districts.

MEC has been advised to treat voter registration concerns with seriousness it deserve.

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Napoleone
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Napoleone

Ignorance is the greatest enemy of democracy. Why should we blame MECfor low turn out of people? Where are the members of Parliament in these district. Do they get in touch with the locals. Where are the organisations that receive funding for civic education? MEC is just doing its work. Kit can’t force people to go and register. We have chiefs, group village headmen, tradional leaders, even the church to tell people to go and register. This blaming culture will not take us anywhere . There is no plan for rigging. I listened to Zodiac interviewing people in Kasungu and… Read more »

Mmalawi
Guest
Mmalawi

Don’t forget that Parliament was in session when voter registration started in the three pioneering districts which effectively meant that Parliamentarians had little or inadequate time to go and sensitize voters to go and register. Obviously by the time it rolls out in the thieving party stronghold, most people will have been aware of the process hence giving them an advantage over the other region. If that’s not a rigging tactic then tell me what is!

mtete
Guest

Rev. Moffat Banda, why is it that voter registration exercises always start in the MCP strongholds in the central region? Is it because you want to ensure all teething problems are ironed out and the process perfected for smooth implementation in the DPP strongholds in the south? Why can’t you, for a change, start voter registration in Phalombe, Mulanje, Thyolo or Chiradzulu? Rev. Moffat Banda has said MEC does not work with government. Who are you fooling. It is common knowledge that MEC is infested with DPP sympathizers and there is no way you can bite the finger that is… Read more »

Heavy-duty
Guest
Heavy-duty

A Zodiak anachita interview anthu ku Kasungu, Dedza ndi Salina ndipo anthuwo anati akudziwa za registration ameneyi koma iwo sakalembetsa chifukwa sakuona phindu lililonse. Amati ma MP amathawira ku Lilongwe akawina, nde zimenezo anawawuza kuti asabwere ndi a MEC? Are you telling me kuti a MEC azichita kupilikitsa nkumagwira anthu kuti akalembetse? Za mkutu basi. Anthu ngati atopananu inu a Kongolesi bwanji muvomere basi. Mumathawira ku Area 12, 43, 47 mukawina nde mmati iwo atani. Ena akukamba za Experiment, sure? Palinso ma test tube apa? Palinso laboratory apa? A MEC adalengeza kuti we are starting registration and its “registration go… Read more »

Maunits
Guest
Maunits

Nkhani ndiyakuti registration must be one district South, one district Centre and one district North. We can not be experiment region all the time. Please our lawyers this is the right time for injunctions to start again registration it does not give any logic. Why always Moffat Banda answering where are other MEC members we don’t want to hear this we don’t want rigging again we are tired with this government.

Zam'tonda
Guest
Zam'tonda

The dirty tricks by auntie Malinki are obvious to a discerning mind. MEC can’t just conduct its registration experiments in the central region. The comfort conferred on these blue commissioners is our nightmare through strategic rigging of the 2019 election. Moffat is mouthing dung. The MEC chair can choose to evade the truth on systematic rigging and we hear she is a devout christian who is ready to plunge Malawi into post election chaos. Stop this nonsense don’t steal the votes the erratic operation of solar due to cloudy should be spread across Malawi the cold season registration phases have… Read more »

Cashgate1
Guest

MEC kusamva, and one would wonder why they can’t take advise from their electoral partners. MEC is not independent as one Moffat Banda puts it. MEC get its funding from DPP government and you expect it to be independent? What about other “relationships” that are at prey between HE and MEC Head? unless you are part of the whole system and everything seems OK from your angle. But otherwise a fair conclusion from those that understand the “whole” registration processes would says elements of rigging the process of voting are very high this far. Unless Malawians demand their rights, otherwise… Read more »

che nnungu
Guest

MEC zimene mumapanga nthawi zina tidzangogawanapo dzikoli. This is very unfair

Omex70
Guest
Omex70

This is true. MEC wants to rig elections. Maffati Banda is DPPand even Ansah Jane is DPP supperter. During ID registration execrcise they started with the Central Region. Now they are starting this exercise in the central region. It is only coups for farm input subsidy program that always starts in the southern region. I am not satisfied with Jane Ansah’s performance at MEC.

Prince of Shitholes and Thieves
Guest

Yes one district in each region and see how it works. From there MEC should have sat down and iron out the problems that they faced in the pilot districts. We have an experienced Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika who worked for UNDP in West Africa. He comes to Malawi and becomes a shithole like his masters above.

Prince of Shitholes and Thieves
Guest

The problem with Malawi is poverty.Organizations are losing their integrity and cannot function without fear. The whole justice Jane Ansah who is or who claims to be a woman of God forgets her job for fear of a human being who happens to be a thief of K145 million. When will Malawians stop dancing to politicians. When Malawians stop enslaving themselves. We behave as if we sucked from dpp. We should not destroy this country. MEC is destroying democracy in Malawi. Some judges are destroying democracy in Malawi. Some MPs like Uladi Mussa are destroying democracy in Malawi. Some church… Read more »

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