MEC under fire over CEO appointee

MEC under fire over CEO appointee


ome electoral players and stakeholders have expressed fears for the hiring of Andrew Mpesi as Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chief elections officer (CEO), describing him as politically-compromised.

They allege MEC’s decision could foil expectations of having genuine democratic elections in 2025 because the new appointee has purportedly demonstrated to be an active and publicly-declared Malawi Congress Party (MCP) member despite his qualifications.

The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), through its national organising secretary Chimwemwe Chipungu, expressed dissatisfaction claiming Mpesi’s hiring was a deliberate move by the governing Tonse Alliance to disrupt the 2025 elections.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Centre for Democracy and Elections (Cede) noted that based on available public information, MEC did not conduct a proper background check and due diligence before hiring Mpesi.

Expressed fears: Nthenda

“Cede is, therefore, joining and supporting concerned Malawians in condemning the conduct of the commission in appointing a politically compromised person to take up an apolitical position of MEC CEO. Cede is calling upon the commission to immediately rectify this issue in order to enhance public confidence and trust,” reads the statement signed by its team leader Aloisious Nthenda.

But MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafullirwa defended the commission in an interview, arguing the electoral body retains confidence in the choice of Mpesi.

Commenting on the issue, governance expert Clemence Alfazema also defended MEC, saying the CEO position was critical and those who settled for him were convinced with his credentials and expertise.

He observed that every person in the country was, somewhat, politically affiliated but the daunting task for the new CEO is whether he will professionally practice his responsibilities.

The position of CEO fell vacant in April last year following the resignation of Sam Alfandika who presided over the disputed 2019 Presidential election which was nullified by the High Court.

The court then ordered a fresh election which saw MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera, under the nine-party Tonse Alliance, dislodging Peter Mutharika.

Before his appointment at MEC, Mpesi worked for USaid-Malawi office as a governance specialist responsible for elections and parliamentary portfolio.

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