The new Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Justice Chifundo Kachale has vowed to restore public trust which the electoral body lost during the May 2019 Tripartite Elections.
He said this on Tuesday in Blantyre in an interview after being sworn in as MEC chairperson by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda alongside six commissioners, namely Jean Mathanga, Linda Kunje, Arthur Nanthuru, Steve Duwa, Anthony Mukumbwa and Olivia Liwewe.
Kachale, who has succeeded Justice Jane Ansah who stepped aside two weeks ago after the court found the commission incompetent, said he was fully aware of the responsibility that comes with the oath and promised to deliver services that will earn the trust and confidence of the country’s citizens.
He said: “By remaining faithful to the mandate and responsibility that are outlined in the laws and the oath that we have taken, we believe that the people of Malawi will get to see that we are servants of the people.
“We would like to do what is good for this nation because this process is very vital to build the political and governance systems of this nation and we would like to do that in a manner that the people of Malawi will respect the outcomes.”
The new MEC chairperson observed that the commission is a constitutional body committed to holding regular, credible, fair and open elections, and it is its responsibility to ensure that the electoral process is conducted according to the prescription of the law to ensure that every stakeholder accepts the outcome.
Asked whether the commission has ample time to prepare for the fresh presidential election as ordered by the Constitutional Court, Kachale said the commission is expected to hold its first meeting today where it is will be briefed on the state of preparedness regarding the fresh presidential election.
“Thereafter, we will brief the media within the next two days as to what do we have to execute the plans that have been committed to us as a new electoral commission,” explained Kachale.
In his speech, the Chief Justice advised the new commission that the country chose the path of democracy and the rule of law and that elections are central to that process.
He said: “Credibility starts with your personal credibility, integrity and ultimately, the collective credibility and integrity of the commission. The Constitution remains your roadmap and the electoral law will be your working tool.”
The previous MEC commissioners’ contract expired on June 5, while Ansah stepped aside after both the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the May 21 2019 presidential election was marred by gross irregularities and further ordered a fresh election within 150 days of the February 3 ruling.
President Peter Mutharika appointed the new commission on Sunday.