MALAWI ELECTORAL COMMISSION

SPEECH BY MEC CHAIRPERSON, JUSTICE DR. ANASTASIA MSOSA, SC DURING RESULTS FOR MZIMBA CENTRAL AND MZIMBA SOUTHWEST CONSTITUENCIES’ BY-ELECTIONS 10TH OCTOBER 2012, MZIMBA BOMA

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My fellow Commissioners, The Chief Elections Officer, Mr Willie Kalonga The District Commissioner, Rev Chimphepo Members of the District Elections Supervisory Team (DEST) Members of the Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) Constituency Retuning Officers All candidates and representatives of various political parties Management and staff from MEC secretariat Members of the press Ladies and gentlemen; Today is yet another day in the calendar of the Malawi Electoral Commission, when the commission is officially declaring results of by-elections that were held in Mzimba Central and Mzimba South-west constituencies. I want to thank God Almighty for sustaining us this far. God has been very faithful to us since we launched the by-elections on 1st August 2012. As you are aware, Mzimba Central constituency fell vacant due to the death of Professor Donton Mkandawire and Mzimba Southwest due to the ascendance of Right Honourable Khumbo Kachali to the office of the Vice-president of the Republic of Malawi. I am pleased to report that in fulfilling its mandate, the Commission has conducted by-elections to fill the vacancies in the constituencies. Conduct of the by-elections started with a stakeholders’ meeting and launch held simultaneously in both constituencies on August 1, 2012. Then there was registration and voter verification exercise which run from August 13 to 17, 2012. This registration offered an opportunity to register for those who had attained the age of 18 after the registration of Local Government Elections in 2010 or would have attained the age of 18 by the polling day. Those who were already registered were supposed to come and verify their details. From this exercise, the total number of registered voters for Mzimba Southwest came to 34,816 while for Mzimba Central it was 41,740. Starting from August 1 to 31, the Commission was giving out nomination forms to aspirants and these forms were received back on August 31, 2012.

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Distinguished Commissioners, Ladies and Gentlemen, yesterday I visited over 20 centres where polling was being held. My observation was that, over 80% of the voters were women. This is very encouraging and I wish to applause the women of these two constituencies. They make democracy happen! One day, we will vote out all men with the women vote! On the same note, I am concerned with women participation in elections. Of the ten contestants, only one was a lady. What happened to the 50-50 campaign! Political parties and all stakeholders have a responsibility to create a platform where women can be encouraged to contest in elections. Should we have another by-election (God forbid)! I would like to see political parties sponsoring women to contest. Distinguished Commissioners, Ladies and Gentlemen, the official campaign period was launched during a stakeholders meeting also held simultaneously in both constituencies on 7th September, 2012. During the campaign period which run up 7th October, 2012, the Commission also organized two political debates; in Mzimba Southwest on September 24, 2012 and in Mzimba Central on September 25, 2012. During these debates contesting candidates articulated their manifestos and this provided the electorate with an opportunity to listen to different views and come up with informed choices which they expressed through their secret ballot. As expected, campaign in the two constituencies was hot. Political heavy weights in the country camped in the two constituencies and used every possible opportunity to deliver their messages to the electorate. Elections, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, are conflictual in nature and that there were sporadic conflicts during the campaign period is not out of the ordinary. It was expected. Let me hasten to congratulate all the contestants for displaying maturity and responsibility during this period. The heated campaign did not result into the shedding of blood or indeed loss of life. This is very commendable. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, as some of you would be aware, these are the first by-elections the Commission has undertaken since new Commissioners were appointed in May this year. I wish to congratulate the Commissioners for the job well done. Commissioners were always willing and ready to undertake any assignment in the constituencies. Once again congratulations.

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Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, let me also thank all political partners and candidates that contested in these by-elections. We had a wonderful working relationship over the period. My prayer is that this cordial relationship will continue even as we get closer to May 2014. I wish to thank the District Commissioner and the entire District Elections Supervisory Team, the Multiparty Liaison Committee, staff from the Malawi Electoral Commission and the media for a wonderful work well done. Distinguished Commissioners, Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me at this point to express concern over the non-availability of civil society organizations during the entire process. CSOs were conspicuously absent during all phases of the election, save for very few who I saw during the polling. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, let me thank UNDP, the British High Commission and Malawi Human Rights Commission for observing the polls. Their presence in the constituencies added confidence to the electoral process. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, let me in a very special way recognize the role played by the Media in the provision of civic and voter education in the by-elections. I wish to single out Mzimba Community Radio, Zodiak and MBC for taking a keen interest in the by-elections. say thank you. I would also like to applause in a special way Zodiak Broadcasting Corporation. Distinguished Commissioners, Ladies and Gentlemen, Zodiak reporters spent the whole night updating the nation on these by-elections. Their reporters have spent the whole night with us in the Tally Centre. Please join me to congratulate media houses with a round of applause! Declaration of Results Voting in the by-elections took place on October 9, 2012 from 6 am to 6 pm in all stations. The Commission has analysed all complaints that were lodged and has declared the two by-elections free, fair and credible. The Commission has determined the results as follows:Mzimba Central Constituency Mzimba Community Radio almost abandoned their normal schedules and instead aired by-election programmes. To them and all Media houses, I

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Mzimba Central Constituency had six candidates. With a total of 41,740 registered voters, 20,567 registered votes turned out to vote. This represents 49.34% voter turnout. There were 274 null and void votes. This represents 1.33 %. The results of the voting are as follows: 1. Mr Aram Mdala Wedson 3. Mr Owen Mkandawire, Beza, Peoples Party (PP) got 8,154 votes. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) got 2,313 votes. 2. Mr Joseph Mabvuto Kachali, Independent got 9,412 votes. 4. Mr Dennis Kandodo Mvula, Independent got 55 votes. 5. Mr Bonfancio VVK Chidumayo Nguluwe of New Rainbow Coalition (NARC) got 18 votes. 6. Ms Enita W Njolwa of Alliance for Democracy (Aford) got 341 votes. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Commission I, Justice Dr. A.S.E. Msosa, SC now declare Joseph Mabuto Kachali who contested as independent candidate as winner in the Mzimba Central Constituency by-election. Mzimba Southwest Constituency Mzimba Southwest Constituency had four candidates. With a total of 34,816 registered voters, 18,007 registered voters turned out to vote. This represents 51.73% voter turnout. There were 242 null and void votes. This represents 1.34 %. The results of the voting are as follows: 1. Lonard Chavula of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) got 3,210 votes. 2. Baxter Revival Manzunda, Independent got 219 votes. 3. Raymond Chatima Nkhata of Peoples Party got 9,654 votes. 4. James Nthara, Independent got 4,636 votes.

Distinguished ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Commission I, Justice Dr. A.S.E. Msosa, SC now declare Raymond Chatima Nkhata of People’s Party winner in the Mzimba Southwest Constituency by-election. On behalf of the Commission, I congratulate the winners and wish them well. make it, there is still another chance. Accept defeat gracefully. At the end of the day, it is democracy that has won. May God Bless you All. I thank you for your attention. My

appeal to them is that they must celebrate with responsibility. For those who did not

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