The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wants the new Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Andrew Mpesi to be removed, saying Mpesi is a supporter of President Lazarus Chakwera and the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and he has potential to help rig the next elections in favour of Chakwera.
The party has made the remarks in a statement signed by its director of legal affairs Charles Mhango.
According to Mhango, Mpesi is a cadre of the MCP, previously worked as Personal Assistant to Chakwera and is known for his public and private utterances, some of which went viral on social media, like “I will vote and make Lazarus Chakwera President of Malawi tomorrow.”
“This clearly demonstrates that Mr. Andrew Mpesi stands for and when an opportunity arises for him like the one which has arisen for him as Chief Elections of MEC, he will unashamedly use this opportunity to fight for the interests of Dr Lazarus Chakwera and the Malawi Congress Party,” said Mhango.
He further said that Section 6 of the Electoral Commission Act demands MEC employees to perform duties and exercise functions without influence from any organisation or individual.
Mhango argued that, based on Mpesi’s utterances, Chakwera has influence over Mpesi and the MEC CEO cannot be seen to perform duties independently.
“The DPP has shared with international organizations and the commission the trail of public and private utterances by Mr Mpesi in which Mpesi is clearly defending the political interests of Chakwera, to amplify the DPP fears that Mr Mpesi has potential to help rig the next election in favour of Chakwera and the MCP, ” reads part of the statement.
The DPP through Mhango has since demanded MEC to rescind the appointment of Mpesi as its CEO to ensure that the independence of the commission is not compromised.
DPP has also urged MEC to ensure that it employs individuals that will sustain the trust of all electoral stakeholders.
Mpesi was hired as MEC boss last month. Before being hired by MEC, Mpesi worked for USAID Malawi as Governance Specialist. He holds Master of Arts (Political Science), Bachelor of Arts (Public Administration) and Postgraduate Diploma in Health Systems Management.
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