Malawi Electoral body summons Veep Chilima over 2019 polls rigging claims

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has summoned  State vice president Saulos Chilima to explain on his allegations that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wants to rig the May 21 2019 elections.

Chilima, while launching the United Transformation Movement (UTM) in July, alleged that he is aware that government has procured a spying machine.

MEC chairperson of civic and media committee Moffat Banda described as “shameful and unfortunate” claims by Chilima about the existence of a rigging machine in the country.

Banda said MEC has appointed a team of experts to question Chilima’s allegations.

“These allegations are very serious. They have potential to discredit the election results. This is why we want the vice president to explain to us in detail on the issue,” said Banda.

Banda could however not say when Chilima, who heads the most trending political movement, UTM will appear before the pollster.

Chilima has been saying that the government has bought a rigging machine to enable the ruling party rig the 2019 highly contested polls.

The veep’s special assistant Milward Tobias and the UTM spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga said they needed to get details on the matter before commenting.

Police also summoned Chilima a few months ago over the same allegations but he never appeared before the law enforcers.

Aleady the credibility of the next year;s elections have started being damaged with the  main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and civil society organisations (CSOs) under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HDRC) calling  for the immediate resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Justice Jane Ansah over incompetence in how she has handled the missing voter registration kit.

The development has raised fears of possible rigging in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

But MEC has since ruled out any possibility of data in a biometric registration kit found in Mozambique being used to rig the 2019 elections, saying the information in the machine was for civic education and not voter registration.

MEC  claims that all the data in the recovered kit is intact as it was encrypted.

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