Malawi: MCP, UTM Uncover DPP Rigging Scheme for Malawi Fresh Elections

MCP leader Lazarous Chakwera (in black) and UTM leader Saulos Chilima (in red).
31 March 2020

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party youth have said the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) intends to rig the forthcoming fresh presidential elections and that they have uncovered evidence on their allegations.

Suleman (4th from left) says they know the plot by DPP to rig the forthcoming fresh election. Young people from UTM and MCP grand alliance including Aford members attended the news conference MCP, UTM youth accuse DPP of planning to rig elections

MCP information technology expert Daud Suleman , who was MCP key witness in the presidential election case, said at a news conference in Lilongwe on Tuesday reading a letter addressed to President Peter Mutharika .

Rigging tactics

Daudi said the opposition is aware of the "rigging schemes and tactics" that DPP has to secure a fraud re-election of President Peter Mutharika in the fresh elections.

He said DPP want to subvert the will of the people to democratically elect a leader they want in a free and fair electoral process.

"We know that the DPP, while abusing state machinery, is working so hard to rig the forthcoming elections that are set to take place following the Constitutional Court decision to annul previous elections through a pronouncement that was made on 3rd February 2020," said Daudi reading the letter.

He said DPP officials in the districts of Mwanza, Mulanje and Phalombe including surrounding areas in the southern region, are ferrying underage children, as young as 10 years old, to National Registration Bureau centres, whey they are forced to lie about their ages and register as people who are above 18 years of age.

Daudi said the aim is that the children should obtain national IDs that will allow them to register with Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as valid voters and illegally participate in the fresh elections.

MEC at 'capture state'

He also claimed that the opposition has gathered information from State House that government is forcing telecommunication companies in the country to give them access to spy on people's calls.

Daudi said through Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), government has forced mobile network operators to engage and provide Virtual Private Networks (VPN) at State House.

"While the service providers are at liberty to provide network links to any customer, your [President's] request did not follow the laid process and procedure with the service providers. They were bent on forcing and short-cutting protocol," said Daudi.

He said the purpose of the VPN is to intercept data transmission going into MEC networks especially results coming from districts tally centres into the national tally centre.

"It is these very same links that have opened access to the mobile phones of the Malawi population as well as putting MEC infrastructure at a capture state," he said.

The MCP technology expert said government rigging agents are just waiting to pounce on the vote data and massage it to President Mutharika's advantage.

Israel link

MCP also said it knows that DPP hired foreign nationals from Israel who expertise is on espionage and counter intelligence to help rig the elections by intercepting communication channels and devising infrastructure that would tap into MEC servers during elections.

"It is deplorable that a leadership would do all it can, including turning against its people in order to cling to power," said Daud.

But in an interview with Nyasa Times, Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani, who is also government spokesperson, dismissed the opposition claims as utterly false.

Commentators have warned that any plans to subvert the will of the electorate in the fresh election constitute a very dangerous game bearing in mind the polls will consume K34 billion in addition to K44 billion spent on last year's tripartite elections.

The electoral body is being called to be transparent in handling of all processes to do with the July poll, including handling of security matters to restore public trust.

More From: Nyasa Times

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