The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has rejected calls to withdraw a statement in which it urged Malawians to apprehend Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) workers found meeting presiding officers across the country.
This follows a MEC request for the MCP to withdraw its statement which called on Malawians to apprehend MEC workers.
On Saturday, MCP released a statement accusing MEC of soliciting for signatures from Presiding Officers in the disputed Presidential Elections across the country in exchange of money.
MCP said the conduct is akin to an attempt to tamper with or compromise potential witnesses in the election case in which MCP and UTM want the 21 May presidential elections to be cancelled.
“The Malawi Congress Party would like to appeal to all Presiding Officers to remain vigilant and that they should resist this manipulative scheme when and where it reaches their doorstep,” said the statement signed by MCP spokesperson Maurice Munthali.
MEC on Sunday hit back with a statement in which it denied paying presiding officers in exchange for signatures.
The body said its lawyers and staff were meeting presiding officers to prepare for affidavits for the on-going court case.
MEC condemned the MCP statement saying it created animosity and endangered the lives and property of MEC staff.
“There are now threats issued to MEC staff from several quarters following this very careless and irresponsible statement.
“In this regard, MEC is calling upon the MCP to withdraw this statement unconditionally or else MEC will make necessary applications in court for redress. The Commission also wishes to state that the MCP shall be held accountable for any loss of life of MEC staff or lawyers or loss or damage to property in the course of this exercise,” reads the statement in part.
Responding to the MEC statement, Munthali said the party will not withdraw its statement and is ready to meet the electoral body in court.
He said: “MEC knows that they have messed up and there is no way they can ask MCP to withdraw that statement because we are talking on behalf of Malawians and we are representing their anger. That is why we asked them to be vigilant,” he said.