The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says UTM presidential candidate Saulos Chilima’s name was not found at St. Thomas polling station in Lilongwe because a polling officer transferred his name to Likoma Island.
The UTM leader’s name was not found in the voter’s register and he only voted after calling Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chief Elections Officer Sammy Alfandika to intervene.
However, Presiding officer at the centre Walikile Sibande demanded Chilima to call Alfandika using WhatsApp so that polling staff could confirm that he was indeed talking with the MEC boss.
After the call, Chilima who is also Malawi Vice President was allowed to vote.
At a press briefing in Blantyre, MEC CEO Alfandika said they have found that Chilima’s name was transferred to Chiteko School at Likoma and Chizumulu Islands.
“Our investigation has revealed that a biometric temporary clerk did the transfer during the verification exercise. Dr Chilima did not apply for the transfer.
“We are looking for the person behind the transfer to get his motive behind his decision,” Alfandika said.
Speaking in the morning after voting, Chilima said he was happy to have voted and expressed satisfaction with the turnout so far. He then asked registered Malawians to go out and vote.
On MEC’s statement that the elections will not be rigged, Chilima declined to comment.
The UTM leader is one of seven candidates contesting in the presidential elections. Others are President Peter Mutharika who is seeking re-election, Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party, Atupele Muluzi of United Democratic Front, Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement, John Chisi of Umodzi Party and independent candidate Hadwick Kaliya.