* Has since lodged complaint to MEC
* Gives deadline of 16:30 today, Wednesday
By Duncan Mlanjira
Frank Mwenefumbo, who lost in the November 11 Karonga Central Constituency by-election claims the declared winner, Leonard Mwalwanda did not register for the 2019 tripartite elections that should made him legible to contest in this by-election.
In a letter from his lawyers, Kawelo, to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Mwenefumbo contends that the pollster “resolved to proceed to declare the results of by-elections despite the numerous complaints by Mwenefumbo”.
Mwenefumbo has issued ultimatum that if his complaint is not addressed by 16:30 of Wednesday, November 18, he has instructed Kawelo Lawyers to seek the court’s intervention and seek costs.
“We have received instructions from our client to seek further and better particulars from your office,” says the letter from Kawelo Lawyers dated November 17.
“Kindly furnish our office with evidence that Hon. Leonard Mwalwanda was in fact registered to vote at all anywhere in Malawi as of 2019.
“Kindly be advised that we have information that Hon. Leonard Mwalwanda did not vote in 2019. We further noted that in your letter dated 13th November, 2020 you did not give any particulars of where he was registered to vote.”
Mwenefumbo contends that the information of registered voters is part of MEC data base and that he is entitled to this information as a matter of law (section 37 of the Constitution as well as the Access to Information Act).
“Our instructions are that should we not receive the said information on or before 4:30 pm on 18th November, 2020, we should proceed on two assumptions:
a. THAT Hon. Leonard Mwalwanda did not register to vote at all at any constituency in Malawi; and
b. THAT your office is not willing to give us any information that our client needs to exercise his right under section 40 of the Constitution as read with section 15 and 41 of the same constitution.
“Be further advised that our client is considering legal action against the announced results. The sought for information will determine the course of action to be taken by our client.
“Since electoral disputes are to be filed within very strict timeframes, if we do not get the above information by 16:30 tomorrow, the 18th of November, 2020 we have instructions to seek the court’s intervention and seek costs.”
Karonga Central was contested for by Mwenifumbo (UTM Party); Enerst Vitto Mwalighali (Democratic Progressive Party, DPP); Leonard Mwalwanda (Malawi Congress Party, MCP); Maryflorence Nthankomwa (Independent) and Nellie Sichali for Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD).