Newly appointed Commissioners for the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) will be sworn in Friday at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe, the Commission has announced.
They are Jean Mathanga, Moffat Banda, the Reverend Clifford Baloyi, the Reverend Killion Mgawi, Yahaya M’madi, Mary Nkosi and Linda Kunje. Elvey Mtafu was retained from the previous group of commissioners.
In a statement released today and signed by Mec’s chief elections officer Willie Kalonga, the swearing in ceremony will be presided over by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda.
After the swearing in ceremony, Kalonga says the Commissioners will undergo an induction process which will include a training organised by Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC (ECF Sadc) in Harare from June 22 to 24 2016.
“The training will also include in-house induction on Mec departmental operations and activities, procedures and policies, orientation on Public Procurement, training in Corporate Governance, orientation on Public Finance Management Act and Public Audit Act and Building Resources in Democracy Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) training covering Introduction to Elections Module,“ reads the statement in part.
The statement further says the Commission is in touch with the Ministry of Finance regarding the by-elections in Mchinji West Constituency.
Speaking in Mulanje earlier today when he officially opened a ten-day Bridge training for election officials from Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Kenya, Mec chairperson Justice Maxon Mbendera cautioned newly appointed commissioners to shelve their political affiliations and work for the benefit of the citizenry.
“Although I am yet to officially meet the commissioners, I am so excited with the new team and I believe not only me but the whole nation expects a lot from them.
“We understand they have political leanings and political leaders to impress but what they must be aware of is that they are called upon to conduct national elections and not party elections,” he urged.
Mbendera, whose term of office expires in October this year, emphasised the need for Commissioners to avoid leading the nation into chaos.
President Peter Mutharika appointed the new commissioners last week Monday following the expiry of the former commissioners’ term of office on May 18.