Two pre-marked presidential ballots intercepted in Mzimba

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Two ballots marked in favour of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Peter Mutharika were intercepted at Davy primary school polling centre in Mzimba Solola constituency in Mzimba.

The papers were marked in favour of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Peter Mutharika.

People voting at Kaphuta Primary School polling centre in Mzimba

Both the presiding officer at the centre Chimwemwe Mizwa and Mzimba District Commissioner Thomas Chirwa who is the district returning officer confirmed the incident in separate interviews.

Said Mizwa: “The cleric Joleni Nyirenda, a teacher at Kaphuta Primary School also here at Mzimba Boma gave the said marked papers to two separate voters who came to vote at the centre.

“The voters upon reaching the voting booth separately realised that the papers were already marked and they reported the matter to me.

“I saw the papers and indeed they were marked, and I reported the issue to the District Commission Thomas Chirwa and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) District officials to act on it.

“After that, together with other polling staffs and the police officers, we checked the remaining ballot papers in the ballot book to see if there were other similar marked papers and we found none…”

In a separate interview, the DC Thomas Chirwa said findings show that the clerk was the one who marked the papers.

“I can confirm the issue and we have resolved to mark the said papers as ‘spoiled’ as per the guidance from Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)”

“We have found out that the said clerk is the one who deliberately marked the papers and we have suspended him and replaced with another one.”

Chirwa said apart from that, voting in Mzimba District started well and no big hitches have been registered.

A spot check in most centres found people coming in large numbers to vote during the morning hours. Most centre were opened exactly at 6 am.

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