As MCP gains momentum for Mchinji West by-election, govt withdraws funding
Malawi Congres Party (MCP) top brass has beenc riss crossing Mchinji West constituency campaigning to return the seat and after gaining momentum with everything swinging the MCP way, government has withdrawn funding for the by-elections.
Mchinji West fell vacant after MCP member of parliament Kanjira Banda died suddenly of heart attack, a day after attacking First Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje.
Treasury spokesman Nations Msowoya said they have withdrawn funding for the exercise scheduled for October 4, 2016 following investigations into allegations of financial abuse at the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
Msowoya said Treasury will not release funding when the electoral body “demonstrate commitment” to act on their recommendation
MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa confirmed they have not yet received funding.
Political commentator Rafiq Hajat condemned the government for failing to fund MEC for the by-election saying that is flouting the Republican Constitution as people of Mchinji West are denied their right to parliamentary representation.
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has said failure to conduct by-elections would be defeating democracy and good governance.
He said MEC has to engage Treasury on how to respond to their recommendations.
Funds amounting to K15 422 756 million were abused at MEC between July 2012 and December 2014.
During a Mec meeting on January 19 2016, development partners, notably Britain, United States of America and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), rejected MEC’s explanation on expenditure and suspected fraud as well as nepotism at the institution.