04 April 2020
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Wednesday, 12 February 2020 07:22

Commissioner Nkosi implicates Ansah in election mismanagement

Written by  Morton Sibale

 

Lilongwe, February 11, Mana: Monday morning, Commissioner Bishop Mary Nkosi became the first commissioner to appear before the parliamentary Public Appointments Committee (PAC) at Parliament building in Lilongwe.

This follows last week's Constitutional Court order that the PAC should probe into the competency of current crop of commissioners, following the nullification of the May 21, 2019 presidential election results for 'gross and systematic irregularities'.

Nkosi among other things told the committee that the Commission did not authorize the use of alterations on result tally sheets, and that she and other commissioners were equally shocked to note that the forms (66C) were coming in with alterations.

Nkosi also told the lawmakers that the authorization to use the altered result sheets came from the Commission’s Chairperson (Jane Ansah) and the same was not communicated to other commissioners.

“The chair seemed to be racing against the 8-day period and she just wanted to have the results processed regardless of the questionable things,” Nkosi said.

She further said that personally, she only knew of the letter instructing DBO Jordan (contracted auditor during the polls) to process the altered results during the court proceedings.

Asked if in her opinion the commission erred in declaring a winner using altered result sheets, Nkosi said yes.

“As a commissioner (not the commission), I did not see the justification to continue processing the results in the face of the alterations we were receiving. My conscience tells me that (we erred in declaring the results),” Nkosi said.

The commissioner, who also told the committee that all the results were going straight to the chairperson, said she was ready to testify before the constitutional court, but she was not summoned.

Nkosi also told the committee that she was not part of the meeting of 8 February 2019 that agreed to write the committee that the commissioners were not ready to appear before PAC as they had not yet read the ConCourt judgement.

However, Nkosi refused to speak to reporters after the hearing, saying she has said all she needed to say.

On his part, PAC chairperson Collins Kajawa said the committee was happy with the revelations coming from the hearing, saying they would help the committee to make its determination.

“These responses tell a story on the functions of the commission. We are happy such information is coming out and we will be using that to make our informed determinations,” Kajawa said.

He also said that the responses of Nkosi and the subsequent commissioners would help Parliament to look into some of the electoral laws and laws governing the commission.

This was in response to the revelation by Nkosi that there are partisan interests being advocated within the commission which she termed 'balance of power'.

The parliamentary Public Appointments Committee (PAC) has moved in earnest to summon commissioners as individuals of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).

Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah is expected to appear before the committee on Wednesday, 12 February 2019.

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