National

Pac ‘fires’ Mec commissioners

Public Appointments Committee (Pac) of Parliament has reportedly recommended the firing of the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) commissioners following an inquiry conducted since last week.

However, Pac’s recommendation is subject to the approval of President Peter Mutharika as the appointing authority of the Mec commissioners. Mec Chairperson Jane Ansah, Commissioners Mary Nkosi, Clifford Baloyi, Moffat Banda, Jean Mathanga, Linda Kunje and Elvey Mtafu appeared before Pac. Reverend Killion Mgawi was not available for Pac assessment.

Sources yesterday confirmed that from the 21-member Pac, 12 confirmed the incompetence of the commissioners to manage fresh presidential election; six rejected the proposal while three abstained.

On February 3, the Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe ordered that fresh polls should take place within 150 days from that date following the nullification of May 21 presidential election results due to irregularities in results management.

Pac Chairperson, Collins Kajawa, Tuesday did not confirm the development but said the committee has concluded its task of assessing the capacity and competence of the commissioners and that they were ready to present the report findings to the National Assembly.

“We have concluded our investigations. The report is ready and what is remaining is to polish it up and make sure that we have all the protocols in place so that we can report the final findings in Parliament,” he said.

Kajawa said the report will be sent to President Peter Mutharika for his action.

“The process involves our committee to collaborate with the Speaker [of Parliament] to work on protocols and once the protocols are exhausted, then the recommendations will be submitted to the President. I am more than confident that the President will act on the recommendations because we know that he would want to be an example to all key issues in this nation,” he said.

Ironically, Pac membership comprises of six Democratic Progressive Party Members of Parliament, whose party has appealed to Supreme Court of Appeal against the Constitutional Court judgement.

Other members include five from Malawi Congress Party, six independents, two from United Democratic Front and each from People’s Party and UTM.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Defenders Coalition Chairperson Timothy Mtambo and his deputy Gift Trapence have said the issue of incompetence in non-negotiable; hence, the need for Parliament to start working on having new commissioners to manage the fresh elections as ordered by the court.

Pac conducted the inquiry following a Constitutional Court order to assess the competence of the commissioners to manage fresh presidential election following their failure to do so in May 21 2019 polls.

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