PAC quashes PP claims on Malawi ballot fire

The Public Affairs Committee (Pac) has dismissed claims by opposition Peoples Party (PP) that it failed to take a stand on the fire that razed down Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) warehouse in Area 4, Lilongwe last month.

Fire believed to be an act of arson burnt to ashes ballot boxes and other electoral materials days after the High Court had ordered a vote recount for Lilongwe City South East constituency.

PP officials during a dialogue meeting with Pac in Lilongwe accused the Committee of being silent on the fire issue.

Malawi quasi-religious organisation PAC
Fr Mulomole: PAC made comments

The meeting is part of dialogue sessions Pac is holding with various political parties with aim of soliciting views on several critical issues which include the need to reform the country’s electoral systems.

PP spokesperson Kenneth Msonda while confirming to have raised the fire issue, refused to divulge more information on what transpired during the meeting.

“It was our concern that Pac did not issue out any statement regarding the Mec warehouse fire incident. We discussed several issues but am afraid we can’t not pre-empt what transpired, it is our belief that Pac will come up a public statement after meeting all parties, ” explained Msonda.

But in an interview Pac Publicity Secretary, Father Peter Mlomole said the meeting clarified its position in regarding to Mec warehouse fire.

Mlomole dismissed claims that the Committee was silent on the incident, arguing “We made statements through various media interviews.”

He added: “As Pac we are into mediation and advocacy, therefore we can’t take any advocacy stand on the fire incident at the same time when we are also handling the recent elections disputes mediation.”

The Publicity Secretary further argued that the lack of proven evidence as to who caused the fire made it difficult for Pac to speak out on the incident.

“It is not proven who is responsible. We don’t want our public stand on the issue to offend or appear to be siding with anybody but also we don’t want to jeopardize the mediation process,” argued Mlomole.

Pac has been meeting political parties since July on post elections review as well as soliciting views on proposal for electoral reforms and constitutional review.

Meanwhile, Pac’s six-member mediation team is expected to release its final report on the recent elections disputes, which were as a result of demands by opposition parties to have vote recount following numerous irregularities noted during the elections.

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