By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson, Justice Dr. Jane Mayemu Ansah, SC has declared Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate, Descent Msatero Chipangula, as the winner in the Matenje Ward by-election in Kasungu North West Constituency that took place on Tuesday, November 5.
Ansah congratulated the area’s traditional leaders and supporters of the different political parties for a very peaceful political environment which reigned before and during the by-election in Matenje Ward.
“I trust that the same will continue as we accept and embrace today’s official election results,” she said in her speech.
“It is important that we continue to uphold the Code of Conduct for Political Parties, Code of Conduct for Traditional Leaders, electoral laws and the Constitution of the Republic all the time for us to continue enjoying peace and therefore create a conducive environment for development.
“The Commission urges Electoral Stakeholders from the rest of the country to learn from Matenje Ward stakeholders on the way they conducted themselves during this electoral process.
“I extend congratulations to the winner. You have a social contract with the people and please go out to implement it.
“I urge you and your supporters to celebrate responsibly. For those who have not made it this time, I say there can only be one winner,” Ansah said.
There was supposed to be two by-elections, the other being the Parliamentary polls for Lilongwe South Constituency but due to growing insecurity and threats to its commissioners and staff, MEC postponed the by-elections in set for November 5 until further notice.
MEC said they came up with this decision in order to safeguard life and property of the people in the constituency and also on MEC and, meanwhile, it will engage with the leadership of contesting candidates and be monitoring the situation on the ground.
“Once the situation improves, the Commission will announce a new date for the polling,” MEC had said.
In he results announcement speech on Tuesday, Ansah said MEC tried all it could to quell the situation through the Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) but it never worked and the situation was getting worse.
“I should emphasise that the Commission is eager to hold the by-election in Lilongwe South once the situation normalises so the onus is on all political and traditional leaders to join hands with the MEC to achieve this.
“I should also send a strong message that the Commission will not tolerate any form of violence and intimidation during the electoral process. If it resurfaces, the Commission will not hesitate to disqualify the candidate whose supporters are involved in causing violence and proceed with the by-election without such a candidate.
“Intimidation and violence have no room in electoral democracy,” she reiterated.
She also said they will announce the new date, the process will start from where the stopped since the ballot papers have already been printed and are under MEC’s custody.
The vacancy in Matenje Ward, arose following the death of Councillor Alick Kambanizithe Banda on September 18, 2019, who was elected during the May 21, 2019 elections.