Days after the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) dismissed a complaint by UTM Party candidate in the November 10 2020 Karonga Central by-election Frank Mwenifumbo, the candidate has protested the declaration of the winner.
MEC chairperson Chifundo Kachale declared Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Leonard Mwalwanda the winner last Friday, saying Mwenifumbo’s complaint, in which he cited several irregularities as having affected the election outcome, lacked merit.
But Mwenifumbo, through Kawelo Lawyers, has demanded that MEC should provide evidence that Mwalwanda was a registered voter in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Election, which is one of the conditions that allows one to stand as an MP.
The lawyers state that they have information that Mwalwanda did not vote in the 2019 election and have demanded that MEC should provide his voter certificate information.
Reads in part the letter of demand: “Kindly be advised that we have information that Hon Leonard Mwalwanda did not vote in 2019. We further noted that in your letter dated November 13 2020, you did not give any particulars of where he was registered to vote.
“The information of registered voters is part of your database and our client is entitled to this information as a matter of law.”
The lawyers have also warned of a legal action if MEC does not provide the information needed.
MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa yesterday confirmed that MEC received the letter from Mwenifumbo’s lawyers, saying the electoral body will respond to it.
He said: “We have received the letter and we will give our response to him directly. It is their right to seek legal remedies on anything.”
Mwalwanda, who did not vote in the November 10 2020 by-election because he did not register in Karonga Central in the 2019 election, was declared winner of the by-election after amassing 6 763 votes against Mwenifumbo’s 6 021 votes.
On November 10, MEC conducted by-elections in Karonga Central and Lilongwe North West constituencies and Makhuwira South Ward in Chikwawa. Lilongwe North West fell vacant after its legislator Lazarus Chakwera resigned in May this year in compliance with the law to be eligible for the presidential contest. The vacancy in Karonga Central, on the other hand, followed the death of its legislator Cornelius Mwalwanda.