Malawi Wanted a Trusted Pollster - Kachale's MEC Is Giving Hope

Voters queueing in Thyolo district in fresh presidential elections.

Justice Dr Chifundo Kachale inherited a Justice Dr Jane Mayemu Ansah Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) that, in all intents and purposes, represented what is terribly wrong with the country's key governance institutions.

From the time Ansah took over MEC from the departed Justice Maxon Mbendera, public trust in MEC was already wobbling.

Mbendera's MEC wasn't forthright in how it managed the 2014 Tripartite Elections--so much that many, in the public, questioned the authenticity of the results that saw Peter Mutharika carrying the day against Joyce Banda.

In other words, as she was coming in, Justice Ansah was well aware that she was about to run an institution that, already, had trust issues with the public.

Unfortunately, taking it from how she managed the 2019 Tripartite Elections and subsequent court battles that saw the nullification of the presidential resulting in calls for fresh elections, Justice Ansah only worsened the trust issues the public had with MEC.

In the heat of things from the general public, Ansah became increasingly arrogant and out of touch with real issues that Malawians wanted from the MEC she was leading.

Consequently, with Ansah on the lead, MEC turned into a monster of an institution--lacking transparency and accountability, involved in shady financial deals, completely detached and, truth be told, a burden to the taxpayer.

That is the MEC that Justice Kachale took over from Ansah who, at her arrogance end, humbled herself by resigning.

However, it is interesting how Justice Kachale appear to spearheading change at MEC at a critical period of time.

His departure point has always been defining MEC as an institution that manages the will of the people; as such, those with power to run it should do so with that realization.

We have seen how, in two weeks, MEC is becoming more people-friendly through interesting transparent measures from Justice Kachale.

On issues of delayed financing, we have seen how Justice Kachale has been all out engaging various offices and making it clear that elections are a will of people and they must be held.

Further, we have seen how Justice Kachale has been steadfast in updating the public regarding every move the commission is making--this has helped curb speculation and rumors.

Perhaps for the first time in the history of elections in this country, more Malawians are steadily involved in the art of managing elections.

For instance, Malawians, today, are able to be part of tracing the plane carrying the ballot papers and delivery of the same to districts--this is good governance.

We believe in the coming days, Justice Kachale will scale transparent and accountable leadership he has brought to the commission because this is the source of trust that Malawians must always have in their key governance institutions.

You have started well Justice Kachale; please don't fall to the wayside.

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