We put you in your positions, Commissioner Kunje tells MPs

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioner Linda Kunje angered Members of Parliament (MPs) when she told them that she and other MEC commissioners put the legislators in their positions.

Kunje told the members of the Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament during a hearing today that the electoral process they are questioning is the same one that allowed members of the committee to become legislators following the 2019 Parliamentary Elections.

“The same forms you are questioning, the incompetence you are talking of are the ones that allowed you to be the honorables as you are sitting today,” said Kunje.

The remarks angered MP for Kasungu South East Khumbize Chiponda who accused Kunje of indiscipline and of undermining the committee. Chiponda then walked out of the room.

Legislator for Dowa North East Dalitso Kawale described Kunje’s comments as unfortunate saying they were made out of ignorance.

The parliamentary committee is inquiring into Kunje and other MEC commissioners’ competence and capacity to manage elections as ordered by the Constitutional Court which nullified the May 21 Presidential Elections last week citing widespread and grave irregularities.

On tippex which was one of the irregularities noted by the court, Kunje said the use of tippex on result sheets in the May 21 Elections was wrong and the commission did not provide the tippex to polling staff.

She, however, insisted that electoral laws are silent on the use of correction fluid on result tally sheets. She also told the committee that tippex was used to correct errors and this did not affect the results of the now nullified presidential elections.

On using teachers as presiding officers, Kunje said the teachers went through interviews and were trained before the elections.

She, however, said she would not use the same presiding officers in the fresh elections because they were incompetent.

Commenting on Kunje’s hearing, PAC chairperson Collins Kajawa said the commissioner failed to respond to question in a professional manner.

The hearing will end on Thursday when two commissioners will appear before the PAC.

 

 

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