Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioner Reverend Mary Nkosi has proclaimed tha truth at the Public Appointments Committee of parliament that the pollster erred in declaring President Peter Mutharika winner in the May 21 presidential poll.
Nkosi said the commission would have asked for a time waiver from the High Court on the announcement of the poll results in order to investigate thoroughly the irregularities.
“My conscience tells me that we erred in announcing somebody a winner,” said Nkosi.
“ We should have gone to the courts to seek for the extension of time before the results were announced to look into the irregularly of tippex and the changing of the figures,” she said.
Nkosi was calm, recollected and honest in all her responses to the members of parliament sitting in the committee.
She told the committee that the issue of the irregularities was not dealt with decisively, saying the issue just popped up at an adhoc meeting and the MEC chairperson Jane Ansah did not show seriousness to deal with the matter.
Nkosi said the issue of irregularity was not taken seriously by the commissioners, saying there was just rush to announce the results within the Constitutional prescribed time at the expense of the gross irregularities and anomalies.
She added: “We did not allow alterations of results. We were surprised that presiding officers were altering results.”
The commissioner also told the committee that she only learnt that the MEC chief executive officer Sam Alufandika wrote the election auditors to accept the tippexed results and manipulated votes when the issue was in the Constitutional Court, saying the commissioners were not consulted.
“If I have to be honest, I only came to know that there was a letter written to BDO to continue announcing altered results during the election case. I didn’t know that letters were being written at the commission,” she said.
She said the authorisation came from MEC Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah but was not shared among other commissioners.
On why the MEC used teachers as presiding officers. Commissioner Nkosi told the committee that commissioners were a bit jittery about using teachers bearing in mind that there were concerns during 2014 elections as teachers couldn’t do simple addition of figures.
“But we were told to avoid an uproar since we will be using their property, we should go ahead and use teachers,” she said.
Commissioner Nkosi says the balance of power is very critical at the Commission, saying most of the times one man’s voice is not heard because there are more commissioners from one party.
“Sometimes people become very political when you question certain things instead of us achieving what we’re supposed to achieve,” said Nkosi, asking that probably this is also an area where Parliament should look into.
The Constitutional Court annulled the presidential election results because of what the court said irregularities and anomalies which had been widespread, systematic and grave that the integrity of the results had been severely compromised.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :