Nkhata Bay Central Member of Parliament Symon Vuwa Kaunda is demanding K600 million from the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) as compensation, arguing that he suffered economic, physical and psychological loss by going to the polls twice.
Vuwa Kaunda’s victory in the May 21 2019 parliamentary election was nullified by the Supreme Court of Appeal, resulting in the running of a fresh election which he won on June 30 this year.
A letter from Vuwa Kaunda’s lawyers, who have addressed it to Mec Chairperson Judge Chifundo Kachale, indicates that the re-election came at a huge cost to the legislator.
“The second sounding victory by our client has not come on a silver platter as our client has suffered psychologically, physically and economically in order to vindicate himself that he won the election in 2019 free and square. All this suffering came as a result of negligence and recklessness by your institution as a duty-bearer to follow the laid down procedures as laid down in the PPEA [Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act] on how to conduct an election.
“In fact, had it been that your institution was diligent in the discharge of statutory duty provided in the PPEA, our client’s victory in 2019 could not have been nullified by the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal on 21st April 2021,” reads the letter.
The letter says, as a result, Mec is liable for all the losses he suffered.
“On behalf of our client we hereby demand from you the sum of K600 million to be paid within 14 days from the date hereof. Otherwise we shall be left with no other option but to commence legal proceedings against you in the High Court of Malawi,” the letter reads.
Vuwa Kaunda confirmed writing Mec.
However, Mec spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa said they were yet to get the letter.
“We don’t have a record of that demand-letter at Mec so I cannot comment. When we get it, as usual we will use the official channels to give our responses and it will be up to the addressee to make them public or not,” he said.