The first Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) senior official to appear before Parliament has submitted damning evidence that suggests serious deviation from legally acceptable ways of managing an election.
Appearing before the Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament today, Bishop Nkosi made numerous damning revelations on how the electoral body diverted from normal routines.
Chief among the damning revelations by Commissioner Bishop Nkosi was that MEC Chairperson Justice Dr. Jane Ansah did not, allegedly, consult her and other Commissioners on some critical issues.
Among such anomalies, was the signing of results after making the public announcement and the acceptance of result sheets that had been altered using correctional fluid, tippex.
Bishop Nkosi also claimed to have been ignorant of any letter written to BDO Auditors to approve altered results.
“If I have to be honest, I only came to know that there was a letter written to BDO to allow continuation of announcement of altered results,” she told the inquiry.
She testified that most decisions made at the electoral body were made known to commissioners after the fact.
Commenting on a letter purportedly written by the Electoral Commission excusing the Commissioners from appearing before the Parliamentary Committee, Bishop Nkosi said she inquired from MEC CEO Sammy Alfandika who responded that the letter had been written by one of MEC lawyers and was presented to him for signing.
Under normal circumstances, MEC Commissioners should have been the ones working with members of staff at the secretariat to discuss the contents of the letter.
“It doesn’t make sense as an excuse. MEC has appealed on the basis of the judgement and cannot present not having read the judgement as an excuse. I was not part of the decision,” she said.
Bishop Nkosi has set the bar of candor upon which fellow Commissioners will have to tow as they face the Public Appointments Committee in an inquiry convened upon the recommendation of the Constitutional Court last week.
The electoral body is dominated by Commissioners who are religious leaders – including Bishop Nkosi, MEC Chairperson Ansah, Reverends Dr. Killion Mgawi, Dr. Moffat Banda, Clifford Baloyi and Sheikh Yahya M’madi.
Commissioners Evelyn Mtafu and Linda Kunje are also part of the MEC Commissioners scheduled to appear before the Parliamentary Committee, individually.
The matter was referred to Parliament in a Constitutional Court ruling that nullified the May 21 elections, ordered fresh polls and that a probe be instituted to establish the conduct of MEC Commissioners during the controversial polls.
In a related development, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has hinted it will lead another wave of Anti-Jane Ansah nationwide demonstrations starting Thursday, which will see protesters seal off MEC offices.
HRDC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo unveiled plans for the demonstrations dubbed “Operation MEC Shutdown” at a press briefing held today in Lilongwe.
He stressed the mission can only be aborted if Justice Dr. Jane Ansah resigns.
Mtambo said the Constitutional Court ruling vindicated their position that electoral justice was trampled upon during the May 21 2019 vote.