Opposition bloc demand Ansah, Malawi chief elections officer to step aside to allow investigations

Opposition parties who met in Blantyre to find a common ground following the response from the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on the stolen Biometric Voter Registration Kit (BVRK) have called for MEC chair Justice Jane Ansah, chief elections officer Sam Alfandika and other senior officials at the commission to step aside to allow for independent forensic audit of all electoral equipment under the commission.

Opposition parties at the news conference in Blantyre on the stolen Biometric Voter Registration Kit demanding Ansah to resign

Demanding MEC serious investigations and Ansah to step aside: Chilumpha (r) and PPM leader Mark Katsonga Phiri

Representatives of nine opposition parties told a news conference in Blantyre on Tuesday that after their meeting in camera they have agreed to ask for Ansah and her officials to step aside

The meeting drew People’s Party (PP) secretary general Ibrahim Matola, Assembly for Democracy and Development (ADD) president Cassim Chilumpha, People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) leader Mark Katsonga Phiri, as well as delegates from the United Transformation Movement (UTM), Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde), People’s Transformation Party (Petra), Alliance for Democracy (Aford), the Republican Party (RP) and the New Labour Party (NLP).

The parties are seeking technical and material support from the UN through  UNDP Malawi office, the European Union (EU) and DFID for the independent forensic audit to be carried out by eminent Malawians led by a retired Supreme Court judge.

MEC has been under fire from various electoral stakeholders, some of whom have called for the resignation of MEC chairperson while others have recommended an independent forensic audit of data captured by MEC.

Malawi Law Society (MLS) has also thrown its weight  behind  an independent investigation on the matter.

During the National Elections Consultative Forum (Necof) meeting, parties refused to buy the explanation of MEC chairperson Ansah who claimed that data, which the commission captured, was not compromised and that the situation was under control after revelations that the BVRK number 1962, which was stolen in September, was later found on a coal train in Mozambique.

MEC in an earlier statement said the equipment was lost in transit from Mzuzu to Mwanza but was found on the train belonging to Vale Logistics.

At the Necof meeting, electoral stakeholders rejected MEC’s attempts to use Information Communication Technology (ICT) experts from the National Registration Bureau (NRB) and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) in investigating the matter.

Ansah said the equipment that was found in Mozambique was National Registration Bureau property, contradicting an earlier statement signed by MEC chairperson for electoral services committee Jean Mathanga which confirmed MEC’s ownership of the equipment.

Meanwhile, the opposition bloc also demand that government ensures that all political parties that have applied for registration under the Political Parties Act are registered immediately before November 26 2018.

The parties have asked the Public Affairs Committee  (PAC) with support from UNDP, EU, DFID and others to convene a stakeholders meeting not later than November 26 2018.

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Tizanka
Guest
Tizanka

I don’t seem to hear the suggestion as regards to what should happen after dissolving MEC.

My vote is my choice,not yours
Guest
My vote is my choice,not yours

Very supportive of the idea,they should pave way for investigations just like it happens when one has embezzled funds at a company.

Jigidi Jaba
Guest
Jigidi Jaba

What is strange in all this is that DPP is silent; in fact not complaining. That smacks of complicity. This behaviour really betrays the fact that the party knows it will be a beneficiary of MEC’s machination. If what I am saying is not true let Dausi come out and dispute it.

pathfinder
Guest
pathfinder

Nyasatimes stop calling it United Transformation Movement. Just call it UTM as its leader self posed genius Chilima and his dunderheads ass lickers have agreed to call it.

Jigidi Jaba
Guest
Jigidi Jaba

You are really bitter with UTM Mr. DPP Cadet ain’t you?

Jason Phiri
Guest
Jason Phiri

Ansah is known to have been involved in handing down crooked judgments along with some of her colleagues lately. Please get rid of the thing both as chairman of the MEC and as a judge before she screws our beloved Malawi any further

123
Guest

Its very shameful for an elecro body like MEC to act in such a very unproffessional manner as if it is not being headed by one of the best judges and good reputation the daughter of Malawi. If I were Jane Ansah I wouldn’t let my party affiliations to interfere into my career you are one of highly respected figure in the country. So stay out of the politics let the politicians do their work and uphold your professional standard in your duties at all times.

Charlie brown
Guest
Charlie brown

Best judge ???

mtete
Guest
mtete

Opposition Block without MCP? Maybe I have missed it. And some of those in the so-called Opposition Block have no constituencies; they are just noise makers. A Katsonga, a Chilumpha?

Political observer
Guest
Political observer

In 2016 when some officials we being investigated for fraud the same people at the helm of MEC sent them on forced leave to pave way for investigations. One has to take into consideration the seriousness of the issues at hand. Fraud allegations are very serious and prosecutable. Allegations of vote rigging have catastrophic consequences such that they can bring civil strife and cause loss of lives and property. If it was the normal thing to step aside in 2016 on fraud allegations what has changed in 2019 for the MEC officials to refuse to step aside to pave way… Read more »

Phiri
Guest
Phiri

The opposition is wasting time instead of campaigning. There might have been foul play by MEC but some of the missing items might have been engineered by the same opposition with the intention of discrediting Justice Ansah and disrupting the elections. So stop whining opposition – go and campaign. Otherwise DPP ikutipula inu mukupangitsa ma press conference.

Shack
Guest
Shack

Chitsiru chosakonda dziko lake ndiye ndiwe! You must be one of dpp pumbwas to be ok with the missing voting equipment. MEC is the only one with access to these machines not the opposition.

Patriot
Guest
Patriot

Somebody has, obviously, accepted to be used by the self-absorbed individuals to mess up with the electoral process. In fact, to any prudent person, the BVRK in question was tampered with in a bid to serve selfish interests.

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