Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has said destruction of its voter registration equipment in some spots in Blantyre City will affect the voter registration exercise ahead of the July 2 presidential election.
The Commission has since suspended voter registration exercise in Blantyre.
Mec Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah said there is no way they can continue as planned with some of its equipment destroyed.
“If the equipment has been destroyed how can we proceed with the registration as planned?” she queried.
But Ansah said the matter has been reported to police and the police are working on the issue.
The suspects terrorised Makata Primary School, Ndirande Hill, Blantyre Secondary School and Chirimba Primary School registration centres.
One of the officials at Makata Primary School registration centre said the suspects challenged that registration be suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“They threatened us with a gun. Initially, they pretended to register as voters but then broke Mec and National Registration Bureau computers saying we cannot be registering in the face of Covid-19,” he said.
The criminals at Ndirande Hill Primary School, only broke a bucket of water which people have been using to wash their hands as a preventive measure of Covid-19.
Southern Region Police spokesperson Ramsey Mushani has confirmed the incidents.
“We received a report and have instituted an investigation on the matter. One suspect was apprehended by the community who beat him up severely before we rescued him. Looking at his condition we have released him on bail,” he said.
Malawi Congress Party Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka condemned the violence saying it spells doubts if the country will have peaceful presidential election.
“Some people have identified a vehicle which was ferrying these people and there is a direct link to DPP [Democratic Progressive Party]. In fact, one wonders if there is no collusion with Mec itself because it is unthinkable that an ordinary person can just wake up and destroy Mec and NRB’s [National Registration Bureau] property,” he said.
DPP’s spokesperson Nicholas Dausi has dismissed Mkaka’s claims as unfounded.
“Does Mr. Mkaka have evidence of what he is talking about? Let us wait for the police to conclude their investigations. But as a party, we are against anything which can derail the electoral calendar,” he said.