Public Appointments committee of parliament PAC is inquiring commissioners of Malawi Electoral Commission MEC.
The inquiry which began on Monday 10 February 2020 is taking place at parliament building in Lilongwe.
Commissioners Bishop Nkosi and Elvy Mtafu were inquired on Monday and commissioners Moffat Banda, Yahya Mmadi and Linda Kunje on Tuesday 11 February, 2020.
Public Appointments Committee of Parliament has questioned two commissioners of Malawi Electoral Commission MEC on how they managed last year’s tripartite elections.
The meeting has taken place after constitutional court tasked the committee to scrutinize the competence of the commissioners on handling fresh presidential election.
Commissioner Bishop Nkosi told the committee that MEC chair justice Dr Jane Ansah authorized the use of results sheets which had tippex without consulting other commissioners.
“The commissioners signed the results only few hours to swearing of President Peter Mutharika. I did not question the commission’s decision as it would not change anything,” says Nkosi
In his remarks chairperson of public appointments committee of parliament Collins Kajawa said it was unfortunate that Ansah was not engaging other commissioners in some of the electoral processes.
“Bishop Nkosi you should bring the commission’s minutes of 21st May to 20 September before Friday,” Kajawa says
Later parliamentary committee on public appointments questioned Commissioner Elvy Mtafu
Kajawa repeatedly asked Mtafu to attentively listen to the question and give direct answers.
Commissioner Moffat Banda of Malawi Electoral Commission MEC has told Public Appointments committee of parliament PAC that he will not resign if the Supreme Court upholds the ruling of constitutional court that nullified presidential elections results.
Banda told the members of the PAC Tuesday morning that he will only accept the judgment.
He said cannot resign because has done a lot to Malawi Electoral Commission which the members of the committee who are the parliamentarians know well.
Earlier Moffat told PAC that the commissioners signed the results of the presidential elections after swearing in Professor Peter Mutharika.
Banda said this after the commission quizzed him on when he signed the results adding chair of MEC Justice Dr Jane Ansah ordered them to sign in the morning because she didn’t want to bother them as it was late.
“As per electoral law it was wrong to sign the results after swearing the president. We used tippex on the results and consulted the stakeholders though it was against the law,” says Banda
He said they did not consider tippexed results as null and void because it was used to correct errors and not divert the will of the voter.
In his remarks chairperson of PAC Collins Kajawa told Banda that as he should know that people are concerned with how he as one of the commissioners handled last year’s elections.
Later Commissioner Yahya Mmadi told Public appointments committee of parliament was not aware that people who used tippex were arrested and are answering charges in court.
Mtafu concurred with Banda said they signed results of presidential elections after swearing in of Professor Peter Mutharika as per consensus of all commissioners of MEC
When asked on whether he can use the same presiding officers in fresh election he said would not.
Then PAC ordered him to bring minutes of last year’s elections meetings by Friday.