Malawi Congress Party (MCP) on Friday spat fire on Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) for endorsing the 2014 and 2019 presidential elections as credible and successful when they were not.
MCP secretary general (SG) Eisenhower Mkaka took advantage of the second National Elections Consultative Forum (Necof) that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) held in Mangochi to challenge Mesn’s conduct in the elections.
Mesn put up parallel voter tabulation centres for both elections, whose results supported MECs findings.
But following a Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruling that nullified the election having found MEC’s handling of the presidential election flawed, with blatant irregularities and disregard of electoral laws, MCP argued that Mesn’s endorsement was questionable.
When Mesn chairperson Steve Duwa, rose to speak Mkaka interrupted him, saying: “We have completely lost trust and confidence in you Mr. Duwa and the entire civil society organisations (CSOs) which took charge in monitoring the past elections.
“You are a big joke. In 2014 you authenticated the results as credible and again in 2019 you did the same. But when we contested the 2019 results, the ConCourt disapproved them. This is why we say we don’t want you again in this imminent election.”
He challenged the organisation to explain the criteria it uses to certify the elections.
The MCP SG said his party values the critical role CSOs and electoral stakeholders play during elections as they help check fraud and irregularities, but that what Mesn does is the opposite of the CSO’s expected role.
However, Duwa who had initially risen to ask MEC the strategies it has put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus amid the election preparations, kept quiet.
It was only later during an interview that he dismissed Mkaka’s sentiments.
Said Duwa: “First of all, let me say that Mr Mkaka is entitled to his opinion. However, I am disappointed with him because he is supposed to be dispassionate and not emotional.”
Asked if he will be back off from the elections following the warning, Duwa said Mkaka has no mandate to stop CSOs from taking monitoring roles during elections.
“We are mandated to assume a big role in the electoral process and that’s why we are here.” he said, challenging Mkaka to file complaints if he has.
Critical issue to the meeting was whether to postpone the fresh election or not due to Covid-19.
But after MEC chairperson Jane Ansah presented the issue to the participants, they said they could not provide an immediate answer as they needed to consult health experts.
Meanwhile, the delegates gave MEC the go ahead with election preparations pending the consultation.
The Necof was attended by various CSO and political party representatives.