CSOs want new govt to deal with corruption


The Joint Civil Society Observer Mission to the 2020 Fresh Presidential Election has set out recommendations to the new government to be formed by winners of the polls after Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) announces official results.

The Civil Society which included Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), Women's Legal Resources Centre (WOLREC), Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO), Church and Society of the CCAP Livingstonia Synod, Foundation for Children's Rights (FCR), DCA Actalliance, and Active Youth for Social Enhancement (AYISE), held a press briefing to comment on the status of the fresh elections on Thursday in Blantyre.

Chairperson of the mission, Gift Trapence commended MEC for ensuring peaceful and credible electoral process whose figures indicates Tonse Alliance leader, Lazarus Chakwera on the lead.

The CSOs
Some of the representatives of CSOs

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) chairperson, Moses Kaiyatsa dwelt much on the expectation from the new government, citing Constitutional Review should be the main priority. 

He said Access to Information (ATI) bill has rendered needs to be effected since most organisations cannot have access to even electoral information.

"The issue of corruption should be the first thing to be reviewed. Government should be strict on people plundering public resources. It is now time these things should be checked. Government should also focus on recovering assets that were purchased by senior officials fraudulently," he said.

Kaiyatsa: Deal with corruption. 

YONECO Executive Director, MacBain Mkandawire pointed on appointments in Parastatal organisations to be checked.

"We have seen appointments into Parastatal organisations to be questionable. People have been appointed not on merit, but through some connections. The aim is to use the Parastatals as cash-cows, funding the political parties in government. Let there be proper channels to recruit people in these organisations," he said.

When asked on the independence of HRDC in executing their duties since they worked with Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTM and other parties pushing for resignation of the then MEC chair, Jane Ansah and other commissioners for messing up the May 21 Tripartite Election, Trapence clarified saying the work for justice.

"We don't side with any political party. We fight for the good of Malawians, and if there is another group or party fighting for the same, then we are just doing a similar thing. We will continue to serve the interest of Malawians where we see things not going on well. That is what we stand for," he said.

Malawians went to polls on Tuesday, June 23 to elect president after the High Court nullified the the 2019 polls in February and called for a fresh one within 150 days.

MCP and UTM leaders, Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima sought court redress after MEC announced Peter Mutharika as the winner.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) then appealed to the Supreme Court which upheld the ruling.