Opposition wants Malawi election ballot contract to Dubai firm revoked: Al Ghurair could undermine vote

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and its electoral alliance partners People’s Party (PP) and Freedpm Party are challenging the credentials of Al Ghurair Print and Publishing Company Limited of Dubai which has been given the contract by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to print  the ballot paers for May 21 Tripartite Election.

Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company has won a contract to print ballot payers for Malawi elections

MEC director of media and public relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa said  in a  media statement that  the ballot papers are  being printed at Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC which is located at Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC Masafi Compound, (Behind Fairmont Hotel – Shaikh Zayed Road) 2nd December Street, Satwa, PO Box 5613, Dubai United Arab Emirates

The opposition alliance claims the tendering process was insufficiently transparent and the  Dubai-based firm Al Ghurair has credibility concerns elsewhere in Kenya and Zambia.

Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing is owned by the Dubai-based Al Ghurair Group, which has interests in construction, petrochemicals, real estate and other industries.

MCP spokesperson Reverend Maurice Munthali confirmed to Nyasa Times that the party and its alliance partners and electoral stakeholders will  be objecting toawarding the tender to print ballot papers to Al Ghurair Printing company due to procedural impropriety.

“We will make our stand known,” Munthali said.

Political observor Mzondi Lungu commenting on social  media wrote: “ Has anyone asked MEC the reasons for printing votes in Dubai? Will that not be fertile ground for rigging?”

He queried if there was any public tender process and procedure before awarding the ballot contract

The opposition states that MEC did not conduct due diligence on this company adding that if the Commission did, it would have known that Al Ghurair Printing company had its contract cancelled by Kenya’s High Court to print ballot papers

The opposition also says in the Uganda elections that saw the impugned victory of Yoweri Museveni held on the 18th of February 2016, whereas the Supreme Court of Uganda upheld the election outcome, nine Judges had found valid evidence of electoral malpractices including late delivery of polling materials.

The opposition alliance claims ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) top brass are behind the bidding and awarding of the contract to Al Ghurair Printing company and that they are celebrating after  MEC officially declared that the Dubai company had won the bidding for the ballot job..

Political observers says these suspicions create “an environment of mistrust” whose effect is to poison the election atmosphere.

But  the Commission said it is open to send a ‘monitoring delegation’ to Dubai from all parties interested.

MEC said all political parties and candidates that wish to monitor the printing process to get accreditation from the Chief Elections Officer “so that they can begranted access into the printing premises.”

The electoral body said the deal had already been signed and that it was way behind its electoral cycle schedule.

“The ballot paper printing exercise is expected run from 1st to 30 April, 2019,” MEC spokespersons said in a statement.

 Nyasa Times calls and emails to the Al Ghurair Group were not immediately returned.

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Kanjedza
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Kanjedza

As per ODPP regulations the Purchaser has to advertise in the newspaper ” Intention to award the contrcat” Where is the advert

Nicholous
Guest

Please America and Britain intervene . We need free and fair elections. I will talk to my Congressman about this issue.

Mesimadzi
Guest
Mesimadzi

Ayamba kale kunjenjemera, kuopa APM.

julius phiri
Guest
julius phiri

This company is very corrupt indeed! In Kenya ands Zambia, they gave the ruling party money for campaign . Wouldn’t be surprised if they have done the same with DPP. MEC should know this perfectly well

Central
Guest
Central

Nanunso a opposition parties [Chakwera and Chilima], you seem to be too reactive and not proactive! Kodi ndimayesa this site yakhala ikukuuzani kuti even identification of the printing site itself was done by a DPP official? Tsopano nthawi yonse Nyasa Times yakhala ikuululayi inuyo mumatani? Kodi kugunataku kudzatha koma? Mxiiiiiiii Nanunso a MEC which is important between sending some monitoring delegation to Dubai from all parties interested and conducting a public tender process and procedure before awarding the ballot contract so that the tendering process should be seen by Malawians as sufficiently transparent. Abale kodi chifukwa chani mukuonetsa kusowa chidwi… Read more »

George Malemu
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George Malemu

Nyasa is not a mouth piece of MEC my friend so they had to wait for the MEC communication

Phingo Walusa
Guest
Phingo Walusa

MEC has always said will consult and inform all stakeholders on each and every step to avoid such mistrust…….

SEARCH ME…!

Mirella K
Guest
Mirella K

MEC yayamba. Osadzanamizira kuliratu agalu inu tsiku lakelo apa mxieeew

Anzelu ndi Anzelu
Guest
Anzelu ndi Anzelu

Landslide victory begins with printing extra ballot papers and then stuff them on boxes. In Malawi elections, it is not the votes that count but it is counters that vote.

MAbvuto akula
Guest
MAbvuto akula

MEC please note that you are conducting elections for Malawians and not for yourselves. This spirit of impunity spoils the little credibility we had for you. Allegations made against this company are true. What are you going to allay fears of the electorate? Following a calendar is not what we want but organising credible elections. MEC do not be big headed. Come clean on this one.

Nico las
Guest
Nico las

Mulli is involved