Former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has asked government to immediately issue letters of appointment for two Commissioners of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Linda Kunje and Jean Mathanga.
Mathanga and Kunje, sponsored to the commission by DPP, were part of the commission that managed the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections which both the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal found wanting.
In a statement signed by DPP spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira, the party said government should issue the letters without causing drama.
He said Mathanga and Kunje were part of the commission that managed the court-sanctioned fresh presidential election held on June 23 2020 and subsequent parliamentary as well as local government elections.
Ironically, Mathanga and Kunje were reappointed into MEC by former president Peter Mutharika, who is also DPP president, on June 7 2020 and sworn in. However, Mpinganjira did not indicate in his statement why the DPP administration did not issue them appointment letters.
In a related development, the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament has maintained its position that the commission that handled the nullified 2019 Presidential Election was incompetent.
PAC met yesterday to deliberate on the old commission that handled the 2019 presidential election. The meeting followed the request from the Speaker of the National Assembly to conclude the matter.
In an interview, PAC chairperson Joyce Chitsulo confirmed the meeting, adding that the Office of the President and Cabinet had reminded the Speaker that there was an outstanding matter on the 2019 Presidential Election.
“Even if people move out of office, the office continues. So, there was a reminder to have the matter concluded,” she said.
The developments come against a background of an August 2020 legal opinion by Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe to Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zanga-zanga Chikhosi to formally write appointment letters to Kunje and Mathanga.
Responding to questions from legislators in Parliament on September 10 2020, President Lazarus Chakwera also said he would not send appointment letters to the two Commissioners as they were found to be incompetent by PAC and the courts.