Malawi Ballot Boxes 'Tampered With', Inspection At MEC Warehouse Shows

Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Jane Ansah (file photo).

The recount in a number of constituencies in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts is futile because ballot boxes have been tampered with after they were supposedly sealed on the polling day, May 21 2019, the inspection exercise of the polling materials for parliamentary elections has revealed.

Instead of finding ballot papers, results sheets, tally sheets, counter foils, log books and voter registers, the material in the ballot boxes were containing reflecgtors, banners and other irrelevant materials

Loose ballot box seals were noted by officials conducting the inspection exercise of the polling materials at Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) warehouse.

The officials wanted to get ballot papers, results sheets, tally sheets, counter foils, log books and voter registers in the ballot boxes for the use of court cases in constituencies whose results are being challenged in court.

However, the officials found boxes filled with reflectors, banners and other irrelevant documents which pointed to the fact that a number of ballot boxes had been tampered with, rendering the entire exercise of recounting the contested ballots a futile one.

The material were needed inf a case in which three Malawi Congress Party shadow members of Parliament (MPs) in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts are challenging results of the May 21 parliamentary elections.

MCP members Kafandikhale Mandevana of Nsanje Central, Enoch Chizuzu (Nsanje North) and Foster Thipiwa (Chikwawa East) are challenging results of the parliamentary elections.

High Court in Blantyre ordered that the electoral commission should produce all the documents it used in the elections in the three constituencies and that the case should return to court on July 29 2019, the "original tally sheets have not been disclosed and are not in custody of MEC."

MEC declared Francis Kasaila, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Democratic Progressive Party -DPP) winner of Nsanje North, Esther Mcheka-Chilenje (DPP)for Nsanje North and Sam Khumbanyiwa (UDF) for Chikwawa East.

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