Chakwera fires two Malawi Electoral Commissioners

President Lazarus Chakwera has fired Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje.

Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi has informed the two of their firing.

In a letter dated April 7 and addressed to Kunje, Chikhosi told Kunje that her appointment made by former President Peter Mutharika last year has been rescinded with immediate effect.

Mathanga

“The rescission is on the basis that you were adjudged incompetent by the Supreme Court of Appeal on 8th May, 2020 in MSCA Constitutional Appeal no.1 of 2020 regarding the manner in which you handled the 2019 General Elections,” said Chikhosi.

According to Chikhosi, the Supreme Court ruling disqualified Mathanga and Kunje from being appointed as MEC commissioners.

He cited section 75 (3) (b) of the Constitution which says that a person shall cease to be a commissioner of MEC “if any circumstances arise that, if that person were not a member of the Electoral Commission, he or she would be disqualified for appointment as such.”

Mathanga and Kunje were part of the MEC commission which managed the 2019 tripartite elections. The elections were later nullified by the Constitutional Court which also found the MEC commissioners to have been incompetent. However, Mutharika re-appointed the two to the commission in June last year.

The Malawi Congress Party government has been refusing to recognize the appointment of Kunje and Mathanga saying the two were declared incompetent by the courts.

But recently, Attorney General (AG) Chikosa Silungwe told Chikhosi that maintaining the composition of the current MEC commission would be “neater and mature political pragmatism.”

The firing of the two comes days after the ruling Malawi Congress Party dragged Chakwera to court of the composition of the electoral commission.

 

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