By Jameson Chauluka:
Immediate-past State vice-president Saulos Chilima, who is also UTM leader, has accused Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson, Jane Ansah, of allegedly influencing the commission to favour President Peter Mutharika during the May 21 presidential election.
In a leaked letter to Ansah, dated June 7 2019, Chilima alleges that she did not want Chakwera to win the election because he had a Muslim, Sidik Mia, as the running mate.
“You told members of staff of the commission that you would be grateful if they helped you to ensure that Prof Mutharika gets re-elected. You specifically mentioned that you did not want Reverend [Lazarus] Chakwera to be elected because his running mate is a Muslim. You further told them that I am too ambitious and, hence, not fit to be elected,” the letter reads.
Chilima further accuses Ansah of attending private celebrations of Mutharika and his governing Democratic Progressive Party after she declared him the winner of the presidential race.
Mutharika won the election by 38 percent, Chakwera finished on second place with 35 percent and Chilima got 20 percent.
Chakwera and Chilima have applied to the High Court in Lilongwe seeking nullification of the result.
Chilima also accuses Ansah of lying to Malawians that UTM did not submit complaints and that queries that were submitted by other parties—147 in total— were resolved.
“Clearly, you are compromised and cannot discharge your sacred duties as independently as provided for in the relevant laws,” the letter reads.
UTM spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti- Malunga, declined to comment on the contents of the letter, saying it was a private communication between Chilima and Ansah.
“You remember that, during the press briefing last week, Right Honourable Dr Chilima said the letter was a private communication and not necessarily from the party,” he said.
Mec spokesperson, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, Wednesday declined to comment on the matter.
“As you are aware, the gist of the letter by Honourable Chilima to the Mec Chairperson is before the court. It is only prudent to abide by the court rule of subjudice to avoid being in contempt of the court,” he said.
In the letter, Chilima faults Mec for allegedly altering, transposing results among candidates and wrong summations in favour of Mutharika and several other ills.
“It is clear that members of the commission were part and parcel of this criminal enterprise,” the letter reads.