26 August 2016 Last updated at: 6:54 AM
Govt angers opposition over Mchinji by-election postponement
Malawi’s opposition parties have expressed dismay over government’s decision to postpone the Mchinji West by-election following reports of financial mismanagement at Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
Government said it has withheld funding for the elections to pave way for investigations into reports of squandering of public funds at the electoral body.
Reacting to the decision, three main opposition parties namely the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), People’s Party (PP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) have questioned the delay.
MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila faulted government for withholding funds for the polls arguing that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) “fears losing” the by-election.
“We are very disappointed with the postponement, because this is the second time, it is very clear that they went there and they fear they will loss miserably,” said Kabwila.
Concurring with Kabwila, PP spokesperson Ken Msonda also questioned the decision saying it is a “game played by the DPP” to frustrate the elections in fear of giving any seat to the opposition.
“Government is fearing that it will lose, the reasons given through MEC do not hold water. The mismanagement has been there before so to say they are postponing the election due to financial mismanagement, aah! Are they telling Sunday school children or what?” said Msonda.
On its part, UDF also expressed worry over the delay to investigate financial mismanagement at MEC arguing that the reports were revealed by the media last year.
MEC was to conduct a by-election following the death of Mchinji legislator Billy Kanjira Banda.