Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) have asked the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to take People’s Party (PP) to task for allegedly tampering with voter certificates in the maize distribution exercise.
The call comes following revelations that some PP members are asking the electorate to surrender their voter certificates if they are to be given maize in Rumphi North Constituency and other constituencies.
Speaking in an interview on Monday, MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila said MEC should take action as PP is on pre-poll rigging campaign. She said the involvement of PP in maize distribution was suspicious from the start.
“It is not a secret PP is sending people to ask for voter certificates from the electorate to be given maize. It is not just in Rumphi North, it is happening in many constituencies. They have started the Votegate after embarking on the Cashgate and Jetgate.
“This is something we want MEC to help us; otherwise we will not have free and fair elections,” said Kabwila.
Newton Harawa, an aspiring Aford councillor in Rumphi North, told a gathering at the launch of Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) citizen charter in Rumphi last week that he has proof that PP collects voter certificates in the maize distribution exercise. Police, MEC, Rumphi District Council, political parties, chiefs and other electoral stakeholders were present.
He said police have not been helpful on the matter and he wondered if they are scared because it is the ruling party.
PP shadow councillor for Henga-Phoka Ward, John Mkopeka Tembo, said the party asks for the certificates to bar people from other constituencies from receiving maize meant for Rumphi North.
MEC chief elections officer Willie Kalonga on Monday said both the electorate and people who get certificates have to be arrested as giving and keeping someone’s certificate is a criminal offence.
Kalonga said such complaints have been coming to MEC, but the police are the rightful authority to deal with the matter.
National Police spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo asked for a questionnaire on complaints of voter certificate tampering.