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Parliament to summon Jane Ansah

Peter Mutharika

Public Appointments Committee (Pac) of Parliament has said it will summon Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) officials, including its Chairperson Jane Ansah, to investigate Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC)’s calls for her resignation.

Pac Chairperson, Collins Majawa, after meeting HRDC officials in Lilongwe yesterday on the matter, said there were critical issues that need further investigations before concluding the issue.

“From our dialogue, we have seen that there are critical issues requiring further investigations before we make decisions. We will consult the other side [Mec] because it is to do with our public servant, so natural justice compels us to hear from both sides,” he said.

“We have not yet arranged when to meet them because our calendar of events is tight and hectic. We also need to create room for the plenary session but these issues will be handled fairly quickly and be concluded on time. In an event where the [Constitutional] Court finalises its mandate, we would seek normal protocols within parliament even to meet them a day or three days after.”

Last week, Pac summoned HRDC leadership to understand more their demand which has been cause of nationwide demonstrations, which the Supreme Court temporarily stopped through a 14-day moratorium so that stakeholders should find ways of ensuring that the protests are violence-free.

HRDC Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, expressed optimism that the meeting would yield the intended purpose.

“We have given them enough reasons why Ansah must resign. I hope the committee is going to address our issue. Regardless of their political affiliations, they should look at Malawi first,” he said.

The meeting comes when President Peter Mutharika, who is also the appointing authority, said he does not see any reason to fire Ansah.

Mutharika told British Broadcasting Corporation on Monday that he would not fire Ansah, arguing that the elections were free and fair.

Mtambo, however, said Mutharika is not above the law; hence, the coalition will not relent until their demand is met.

HRDC has been calling for the resignation of Ansah and the rest of Mec commissioners for their alleged mismanagement of May 21 2019 tripartite elections results.

The coalition has been leading citizens to protests across the country.

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