MANGOCHI-(MalawianWatchdog)—Malawi Congress Party (MCP) parliamentary candidate for Mangochi Monkey-Bay constituency, Gerald Kazembe, has demanded a physical audit of the election ballots, arguing the irregularities detected are very serious thereby diverting the will of the people.
Kazembe’s complaints backed by the media, some election stakeholders and chiefs in the area, calls for the full recount of the physical election ballots after allegations of ballot stuffing and voter fraud emerged at different polling centres.
According to complaints filed by Kazembe’s lawyer, Patience Maliwa of Icon & Co, some centres brought unbalanced results in that the total number of votes casted at a centre surpasses the number of registered voters at the centre.
It is also reported that parliamentary candidate for the Democratic Progressive Party Ralph Jooma might have bribed the presiding officer for Cape Maclear, a polling centre that has produced very strange results in as far as the race was concerned between Jooma and Kazembe.
“There is a report by media, zodiac online, that unofficial results for the constituency in issue here in have been delayed owing to mistakes made by presiding officers from different polling centres. These allegations are serious to point of diverting the will of the people. This is because they raise issues of tampering with the will of the people.
“The report further says some centres are bringing unbalanced results in that the total number of votes casted at a centre surpasses the number of registered voters at the centre. This is a clear case of some unelectoral practices. It is therefore not safe to proceed with tallying process unless an audit is done to ascertain the correctness of the allegation. The report says this has been confirmed by the returning officer, Rose Mithi,” reads the complaint letter in part.
It is also further reported that monitors representing Kazembe in different polling centres had their phones systematically confiscated and his roving monitors were also denied access at Ulande polling centre.
“Given these gross irregularities our client requests that a physical audit be conducted on all the votes, which audit shall be done in the presence of all the parties concerned, before the official results are declared. Failure to do so will result into a diversion of the wishes of the people of Mangochi Monkeybay constituency,” reads the letter addressed to Malawi Electoral Commission.
Further investigation by Malawian Watchdog indicates that Gerald Kazembe had an upper hand ahead of the watershed elections as every village (if not every family) was in support of him owing to different development projects he initiated.
Kazembe is reported to have transformed Mangochi Monkebay within the short period of campaign, a development that left the incumbent Ralph Jooma panicking, thereby resorting to fraudulent actions.
Having learnt that his political career was near obliteration, Jooma bribed all presiding officers but some resisted the evil acts for the love of their constituency.
2019 Malawi’s general elections have found a space in the history of the country since the dawn of the multiparty democracy for lacking credibility as reports of rigging are everywhere in all constituencies.
Meanwhile, over three MEC officials are spending nights in the cooler for manipulating figures in favour of the candidates of their choice.
Due to the serious irregularities, MEC chairperson has failed to give updates on the election results since yesterday saying the announcement of results is interlinked with resolution of the complaints presented by aspirants to the electoral body.