Voter registration certificates for Lilongwe have been found in Mangochi, raising questions over the credibility of the 2019 elections.
Malawians have cast doubt over the credibility of the polls after pictures circulated on social media showing 750 voter registration certificates meant for Lilongwe abandoned at a school in Mangochi.
In a statement released today, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has confirmed that the voter registration certificates are for Mlare School in Lilongwe Msinja North Constituency but were found abandoned at Thema 1 School in Mangochi at the end of voter verification exercise.
The commission says it has dispatched a team to Mangochi to investigate the matter and establish the origin of the voter certificates.
“The Commission is also checking internally to establish what transpired. The Commission is also questioning all temporary and permanent staff that worked in the two centres during voter registration and verification respectively.
“Meanwhile, the Commission has checked the voter registration records of Mlare School and the duplicate certificates for all the registrants are intact in the books whose total summary was signed off by monitors of political parties that were present during the voter registration process as attached,” says the statement signed by Sam Alfandika, MEC Chief Elections Officer.
Despite several assurances by MEC that it will preserve the integrity of the electoral process, several incidences involving electoral materials means the credibility of the elections has taken a hit.
Recently, a lorry carrying MEC Election materials for Karonga District was spotted at Karonga Total Filling Station where some documents were removed before the lorry reached the DC’s Office. A seal which the people involved broke to remove the documents was forgotten at the filing station.
Last year, a kit used for voter registration in some areas in the Central Region was found in Mozambique. MEC said the kit was stolen while in a government vehicle which was transporting registration equipment.
Malawians are worried that the 2019 elections will be rigged.
“Jane Ansah and her team won’t bring fair & credible elections with all these messes. We started with a voter registration kit found in Mozambique & now voter IDS for Lilongwe found in Mangochi,” noted one Malawian on social media.
“This MEC will not assist Malawians,” claimed another.
Vice President Saulos Chilima has also been claiming that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) plans to rig the polls using a machine.