Former vice-president Khumbo Kachali has asked Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to justify the postponement of constituency re-demarcation despite pocketing K500 million for the exercise.
Kachali led members of Parliament (MPs) in demanding answers from MEC when it held consultations in Mzimba on Wednesday.
Commissioner Clifford Baloyi got a backlash when he announced the postponement of re-demarcation of wards and constituencies to 2020 as the 2008 census is deemed outdated.
Kachali, who is MP for Mzimba South West, said it was surprising that MEC has changed tune.
He argued: “Section 76 of the Constitution gives MEC power to conduct constituency re-demarcations every five years. Why are they not demarcating the constituencies?
“In the previous Parliament meeting on budget review, we set aside about K500 million, then why not conduct the exercise?”
Kachali said many constituencies in Mzimba are vast and the constituents are being shortchanged on development as they get the same amount of resources as smaller ones.
Concurring with Kachali, Mzimba Solola MP Jacob Hara urged MEC not to wait for the 2018 census as the constituencies were last demarcated before the 1999 elections.
“The Constitution does not stipulate population census as a prerequisite for holding the re-demarcation exercise. Extra-large constituencies need to be re-demarcated for efficient distribution of development,” he argued.
Baloyi said although MEC received the funding, census findings are a decisive factor for the exercise. n