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Mec, NRB officials in over missing genset

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By Samuel Kalimira:

Northern Region police have arrested a Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Biometric Voter Registration Kit operator and National Registration Bureau (NRB) colleague on suspicion that they are connected to the missing of a power generator used for the registration exercise.

Police have also arrested businessperson Martin Kumwenda from Kazuni who the two allegedly commissioned to find a buyer for the power generator.

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Northern Region Police deputy publicist, Maurice Chapola, has identified the Mec official as Chifundo Macheso, aged 26, while the NRB official is 24-year-old Andrew Magombo.

Chapola said the two suspects were registering people at Kazuni in Mzimba.

Chapola said police in Mzimba North confiscated the generator which had been put for sale at Mpherembe Trading Centre.

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“We are currently pursuing others because our investigation is revealing other names [in connection with the alleged theft]. This was a planned theft and we are going to handle it seriously,” he said.

Chapola said the suspects will be taken to court soon to answer charge of theft, which is contrary to Section 250 of the Penal Code.

Macheso comes from Wisiki Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Machinjiri, in Blantyre District while Magombo is from Lununda Village, T/A Kamenyagwaza in Dedza District.

Kumwenda comes from Mpherembe in Mzimba District.

Three weeks ago, a biometric registration kit which went missing was found on a train belonging to Vale Logistics which was coming from Mozambique.

A week later, a laptop and power bank used for the voter registration exercise were reported to have gone missing in Mzuzu.

The missing of registration equipment has attracted public attention, with stakeholders suspecting rigging, raising questions about Mec’s ability to conduct a free and fair election next year.

However, Mec has continuously assured people that no voter registration data had been tampered with.

The developments have sparked public outrage with various quarters calling for the resignation of Mec Chairperson Jane Ansah.

Meanwhile, some opposition political parties have also demanded explanations on the matter.

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