MEC to have external auditors on polling day

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The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it will hire independent auditors who will be verifying actual figures on election day.

Speaking in an interview, MEC’s commissioner Bishop Mary Nkosi said the external auditors will be in all 193 constituencies to make sure that they have credible results on the ground before they are sent to the main tally centre in Blantyre.

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“More information will be given to the stakeholders but we are planning to engage external auditors, we will be putting in a tender to engage the external auditors to verify the results before they go to the constituency returning officers office so that all arithmetic is done properly before they are sent to the main tally centre in Blantyre,” said commissioner Nkosi.

She said this will add value and quality to the result saying the stakeholders will have confidence with the results.

She also advised the aspirants to have energetic and youthful monitors who know how to read and write and are trusted.

As the vetting exercise is in the process, Malawi Electoral Commission has since urged people to report anyone offering for sale or buying a voter identity card or national identity card to their nearest police station.

The appeal comes after reports that some people are offering to buy voter certificates from registered voters.

MEC public relations officer Sangwani Mwafulirwa made the appeal in Mchinji after vetting exercise at Magawa secondary school.

Mwafulirwa said buying or selling voter certificate is an offence and he assured the nation that their system is intact and that the reports they hear of buying and selling the IDs puzzles them since even if one loses or sells their voting certificate they will still vote as they have not lost their right to vote.

“As long as you are a registered voter, if you lose or sell your voter identity card you will still vote, we wonder what is the reason of those people buying or selling their identity cards, remember voting is by secret ballot and once someone votes no-one knows whom they have voted for, and if some people were threatened that once they sell their vote they will not vote, they should not be afraid since they will vote come 21st May,” Mwafulirwa said.

He emphasized that the right to keep ones voter certificate is bestowed on the holder, saying no one should keep someone’s voter certificate.

The MEC spokesperson further said they have been receiving calls and messages about issues of buying and selling voter certificate but the issues do not have value as the reporters do not provide adequate information on who is involved.

He therefore urged those who raise the issues to provide tangible information and to help with the process.

Mwafulirwa added that politicians should stop scaring people that once they buy their voter certificates they will tear them apart and people’s names will be deleted in the voters roll.

One of the independent contestants Dr Aaron Maluwa from Mchinji North constituency commended MEC for the colourful process saying it should continue with the process as it is doing right now.

 

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