Sheriffs last week sealed Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) offices in Lilongwe for unpaid dues amounting to K23 million ($46 000) owed to a private firm, Chicken Cottage, it has been established.
In an e-mailed response yesterday, MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa confirmed the closure.
Said Mwafulirwa: “The closure of the offices has forced some employees not to even show up for work.
“It is true that MEC offices in Lilongwe were sealed by sheriffs for matters that are in court. Since this is involving our clients, we feel bound by client confidentiality obligation not to release the figures that are outstanding or involved.
“However, you are free to contact the client for them to disclose to you. The matters at hand are priority to the commission and proper attention and effort have been put in to have the issues settled.”
Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula also confirmed the action by the Sheriff of Malawi saying there is an outstanding debt of K23 million.
“The offices were closed upon instruction from a Mr Gaffar who trades as Chicken Cottage. Apparently, he rendered some services to MEC, some time back and the MEC officials have not settled the bill, hence the closure.”
MEC has in the past been involved in delayed payments to police, teachers who were acting as observers during the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections.