United Democratic Front (UDF) legislator Rashid Pemba (Mangochi Masongola) has asked Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has been asked to work with the Malawi Police Service (MPS) to investigate claims that some politicians are buying voter registration certificates from registered voters.
Pemba made the remarks in Parliament after Rumphi East member of parliament (MP) Kamlepo Kalua (People’s Party –PP) raised an alarm in the House that the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are buying voter registration certificates from registered voters in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
In his contribution, Pemba confirmed receiving reports of politicians buying voter registration certificates in his constituency.
“The issue at hand is really taking place in most constituencies. It started as a rumour but it appears the issue is real. I was at Mangochi Boma and I witnessed this. We now have people who can clearly say that they were involved in this malpractice,” said Pemba.
“We feel it is only the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) that has the responsibility to vet. However, it is surprising that people outside MEC are going around asking for the registration certificates and registration voter numbers. It is a concern,” the UDF legislator added.
Pemba commended Kalua for bringing up the issue in Parliament.
Minister of Homeland Security Nicholous Dausi said his ministry has checked with the police officers on the matter, bud did not find substantive evidence to prove the same.
Oh her part, Salima North West MP Jessie Kabwila said the issues should be handled with the urgency it deserves other than disenfranchising voters.
“I think it will not help for us to say, let’s wait for evidence. The evidence might come after 21st May, 2019 when we already have a crown being put on the wrong king once again. We need to be very, very careful,” said Kabwila.
She said a good number of Malawi voters are illiterate “and when myths go around like this, I think the only way to deal with this credibly, MEC needs to come with speed to make sure that they clarify this and make sure it is stopped.”
Kabwila said there should be free, fair and credible elections, that means dealing with any rumour that is actually founded or unfounded.
“We need to leave no stone unturned. Make sure our voters are sure that they will be able to vote for their candidates and no one is being sponsored to stay away from the elections so that someone who is not wanted by Malawians goes through,” said Kabwila.
First Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje tasked Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee to take up the matter and get clarification from MEC.
The electoral body has said it it illegal to sale, buy or keep someone’s voter registration certificate.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :