Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP has added its voice to calls for the removal of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners, saying they can no longer be trusted after the Constitutional Court faulted the management of the May 21 2019 presidential election.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who is also UTM Party president, have recently also called for the commissioners to step down following the court’s order for a fresh elections within 150 days of the ruling on February 3 3020.
In a statement signed by synod moderator the Reverend Douglas Chipofya and general secretary the Reverend Levi Nyondo, the synod is demanding that a new commission be put in place to handle the fresh presidential election.
The synod says for the country to move forward, the fresh election should be handled by people who are capable of conducting the election in a fair and unbiased manner.
Reads the statement in part: “For prosperity of our electoral system and if there is to be any confidence in future elections, it is time for new commissioners who are capable of the task at hand and whom our country can trust.”
The church has further demanded that those responsible for mismanaging the election should be held accountable.
“Those responsible for such flagrant abuse of Malawi’s trust [should] be held accountable. Assuming the judgement of the Constitutional Court stands, then we expect to see the perpetrators held to account by the authority of laws of Malawi.
“The ruling says corruption will not be tolerated but we must go further and show that those responsible will not enjoy impunity for their actions,” reads the statement further.
The synod has also called on political parties to promote peace to ensure a peaceful electoral process.
Reacting to the matter on Sunday, MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the commission has not spoken about or taken any direction regarding the issues being raised by the synod.
However, he said MEC is aware of the concerns.
Said Mwafulirwa: “We are noting all sentiments and expressions. At an appropriate time, the commission will speak.”
The High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court last week ruled in favour of Chilima, the first petitioner, and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, the second petitioner, who challenged MEC’s decision to declare President Peter Mutharika winner of the controversial 2019 presidential election. The court nullified the results and ordered a fresh election to be held after 150 days from the day of the ruling.