Political analysts have faulted Malawi Congress Party (MCP) secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka’s statement that the party will not allow Malawi Police Service (MPS) to provide security during the forthcoming fresh presidential election.
But Mkaka has stood by his statement, saying the police have lost Malawians’ trust.
The analysts were reacting to Mkaka’s sentiments on Saturday during a political rally addressed by MCP president Lazarus Chakwera at Msundwe in Lilongwe that Malawians have lost trust in police, further describing the law enforcers as incompetent.
In an interview yesterday, Zomba-based political scientist Mustafa Hussein said a political party does not have the mandate to decide what ought to be done by police or stop the law enforcers from overseeing elections.
He said: “It is beyond a political party to simply stop the police from doing their work. Regarding people losing trust, the solution is not to stop police from doing its work. There could be few individuals or incidents that led to loss of trust and a solution can be found to address the issue.”
On his part, Lilongwe-based political scientist Godfrey Pumbwa described Mkaka’s comments as uncalled for and displaying a lack of knowledge of the functions of police.
“To tell police that they shouldn’t take part in the elections is very wrong. The role of police is to provide security internally. No political party can tell police what to do,” he said.
But in a separate interview, Mkaka maintained his sentiments that the party will not allow police to oversee the fresh election, arguing that the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections had incidents where some police officers threatened monitors from performing their duties.
He said the Malawi Defence Force should provide security in the fresh election as it is a more competent institution.
Said Mkaka: “If you look at the matters that were referred to the Constitutional Court, they relate to making certain laws that happened in the presence of the very people that are supposed to enforce the law.
“The issue about them overseeing the election more especially in the context we are, where the police have failed together with Malawi Electoral Commission to ensure that the will of the people is upheld, I don’t think it’s a weird suggestion that the election should be overseen by Malawi Defense Force.”
On addressing Chakwera as State president, Mkaka said officially, Malawi has Peter Mutharika as President but according to the elections that were conducted in May 21 2019, Chakwera amassed enough votes to become president of this country.
“My point is, Chakwera was elected by the people. Had it not been for the incompetence and the fraud perpetrated by MEC, by now, we should have been saying Dr. Chakwera is the president,” he said.
A five-judge panel comprising Healey Potani, Redson Kapindu, Ivy Kamanga, Mike Tembo and Dingiswayo Madise on Monday nullified the presidential election in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections and directed that a fresh election be held within 150 days from February 3 2020.
The court said MEC failed in all constitutional tests it set out on the elections and that the irregularities were so glaring that the credibility of the election was in question.
Two of the presidential candidates in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections, UTM Party’s Saulos Chilima (the first petitioner) and Chakwera (the second petitioner), asked the court to nullify presidential election results over alleged irregularities, especially in the results management system. Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party was the first respondent with MEC as the second respondent. All the five judges voted for the nullification of the election and recommended that Parliament should review the country’s election management laws, particularly the 50-plus-one provision in choosing the President, to clarify on laws governing the declaration of a winner through a majority vote.