The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has swiftly moved to probe the matter about the voter registration certificates that were dumped in Mangochi. It has dispatched a team to investigate the issue.
MHRC executive secretary David Nungu confirmed yesterday, saying the commission wants to have an independent investigation to establish what exactly happened for the certificates which were issued in Lilongwe to be abandoned in Mangochi.
“We take notice that elections are sensitive and this incident can affect stakeholders’ confidence. So we thought if we had two parallel investigations by independent bodies the results could help to instill confidence and manage matters of freeness, fairness and peace of the electoral process,” explained Nungu.
He said the commission had taken the incident “as a very speedy response” and the team which is by led by MHRC director of civil and political rights Peter Chisi, projects to come up with the findings on what happened within three days.
The 751 voter certificates are for people of Lilongwe Msinja North Constituency and were issued at Mlare registration centre in Bunda Ward but were dumped at Thema 1 Primary School in Mangochi.
Yesterday, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) issued a statement, after pictures of the certificates started circulating on social media, saying it will investigate how they found their way to Mangochi.
The electoral scandal comes at a time there is already another unresolved issue concerning theft in September 2018 of one of MEC’s biometric voter registration kits which was found on a coal train in Mozambique.
Meanwhile, Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) has urged MEC to tread carefully in handling the emerging issues as the development has the potential to raise questions over MEC’s credibility to deliver free, fair and credible elections in May this year.
Some of the country’s major political parties–Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM—have all expressed concern over the development describing it as “scary and unfortunate.”