The Malawi Electoral Commission-MEC is concerned with the conduct of some traditional leaders who are still aligning themselves with politicians ahead of the polls.
MEC’s remarks follow Chief Mwalweni’s public endorsement of President Peter Mutharika and the DPP party, against the electoral code of conduct.
The code clearly states that no traditional authority shall be part and parcel of endorsing or campaigning for any political party.
During a political rally organized by the DPP in Rumphi recently, Mwalweni who was chanting the party’s slogan advised people to vote for Mutharika as President and Jappie Mhango as Member of Parliament in the May 21 elections.
“This is in total defiance of MEC’s code of conduct,” Chairperson Jane Ansah stresses.
According to Ansah, the commission has procedures which it follows in dealing with such cases.
“The Malawi Electoral Commission, together with electoral stakeholders come up with what they call multiparty liaison committee which is at district level so that it should look at political issues before referring them to MEC,”Ansah explained.
It is this committee that has the mandate to discipline any political candidate including chiefs that are causing violence or any other form of violence that will infringe others.
Ansah further added that this committee is also given the mandate to take to task traditional leaders that are fond of endorsing aspirants as well as political parties.
From previous elections it has been observed that traditional leaders tend to align themselves to specific political parties, especially the ruling administration.
However, despite this having been the case, it is not acceptable by the commission’s code of conduct.
In this case, MEC together with Rumphi Multiparty Liaison Committee will look into the matter and address it accordingly,” Ansah assures.
There are fears however, that the Rumphi Chief may not be taken to task due to his allegiance to the ruling DPP.