Transport problems at the Malawi Electoral Commission have forced its chairman, Justice Maxon Mbendera to come out in the opening appealing for support from well wishers to buy new vehicles.
Mbendera made the appeal on Monday, February 29, 2016 in Blantyre when his organization received a donation of 24 motorcycles from the National Statistical Office.
The MEC chairman lamented that current fleet at the Commission was aged and was supposed to be replaced in 2013 but government bought only 10 land cruisers which are used by Commissioners.
“The use of aged fleet for the secretariat has increased maintenance costs which erode all our funding for recurrent transactions.
“We will appreciate if other institutions of good will would emulate the gesture by NSO and assisted in transportation,” he appealed.
Mbendera went on to praise the NSO for the good relationship enjoyed with the Commission as it has been providing statistics on which MEC bases most of its electoral planning estimates.
“For the May 2014 elections, NSO did a noble gesture by lending us 50 motorcycles which were deployed to the councils. The gesture by the NSO during 2014 elections helped minimize the transport challenges faced at council level by our staff in the run up to the May 2014 elections because our staff could use the motorcycles for errands that did not require them carry bulk materials,” he said.
He said of the 50 cycles MEC returned 26 to NSO and was grateful that the statistics body had decided to transfer ownership of the remaining 24 to MEC.
“This is a big boost to us. We will proceed to deploy these motorcycles to the councils where at the moment they do not have any means of mobility. At the moment our district staff have to beg for transport from other government departments,” he said
In her remarks, Commissioner for National Statistics, Mercy Kanyuka said her organization decided to donate the cycles to MEC to ease the transport challenges at the electoral body.
Kanyuka said her organization lent 50 motorcycles to the Commission in the run up to the May 2014 Tripartite Elections and they were deployed to the councils.
“We asked for MEC to return the motorcycles and before the exercise was finished we got another request from MEC to lend them the motorcycles to be used for the coming demarcation exercise.
“Considering the genuine need and the nature of the elections work, that it is a continuous process, we decided to hand over the motorcycle to MEC,” she said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :