The following is a speech presented by MEC Chairperson Justice Maxon Mbendera SC this afternoon at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre:
DECLARATION OF RESULTS FOR:
23rd December, 2015, Blantyre
I welcome you all to this function today where the Commission will announce the official results following the by-elections that were held yesterday, Tuesday, December 22, 2015.
The Commission met earlier today to determine the results. However, before I announce the results of the Commission, allow me to give an overview of the journey we have travelled to reach this far.
The vacancy in Zomba Chisi Constituency arose because of the death of Hon. Peter Chizalo Mangulenje on September 23, 2015. In the same way in Mtope Ward, the vacancy arose following the death of Mr John Msumatiza on July 26, 2015, who was councillor for the ward.
However, Ngala Ward in Lilongwe Msozi North Constituency fell vacant because the holder, Mr Misheck Khomba, resigned on personal grounds on September 8, 2015. This is the first time a vacancy has risen because of resignation.
Pursuant to section 32(2) of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act and Section 23(2) of the Local Government Elections Act, the Commission had to conduct by-elections to fill the vacancies.
Preparation for by-elections
This is the third by-elections held after the 20 May, 2014 Tripartite Elections. We launched the by-elections on 21st November in all the three areas. Then followed with registration and voter verification from 26th to 30th November 2015.
During this period from the three by electoral areas, the Commission registered 2,368 (1,115 men and 1,253 women) first-time voters bringing the total number of registered voters to 67,557 from 65,189 registered in 2014.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the Commission received 10 nomination papers on 1st December 2015 through the Returning Officers. There were six candidates in Zomba Chisi Constituency and two candidates in each of the two wards of Mtope and Ngala. At its meeting held on 3 December 2015 the Commission approved all the candidates to contest.
Out of the 10 candidates who presented nomination papers, only 2 were women representing 20 per cent. One woman contested in Zomba Chisi and the other in Ngala Ward. Mtope Ward had no female contestant. If compared to the last by-elections on August 25 this year, the current situation is retrogressive. Out of the 29 candidates who contested on August 25, a total of 8 were women representing 28 per cent.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, this is of concern not only to the Commission but to the nation as well. In the Commission we promote the 50 – 50 campaign in one way or the other. Activists are pushing for the same. The Government is advocating for increased number of women.
The irony, however, is that the women themselves are not coming forward to present themselves for candidature. We call on political parties to come up with deliberate policies and measures to enable as many women as possible to contest. Women should also make themselves available to be elected.
Appreciation of stakeholders
Declaration of Results
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the moment that we have been waiting for. I will now proceed to declare the results. Voting in the by-elections took place on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 from 6AM to 6PM in 37 centres. We monitored the process and we have come to the conclusion that the conduct of the elections satisfied the tenets of a credible poll and the Commission declares it such.
The Commission has, therefore, determined the results as follows:-
Mtope Ward had two candidates. With a total of 26,433 registered voters, 4,569 registered voters turned up for polling. This represents 17.29% voter turnout. There were 54 null and void votes. This represents 1.18%. The results of the voting are as follows:
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Commission I, Justice Maxon Raphael Mbendera, SC now declare Auleriano Kalemba who contested as Malawi Congress Party candidate the winner in the Mtope Ward by-election.
Ngala Ward had two candidates. With a total of 15,330 registered voters, 2,128 voters turned out for polling. This represents 13.88% voter turnout. There were 30 null and void votes. This represents 1.41% %. The results of the voting are as follows:
1. Master Rodgers Chazama (male) - MCP 1,381votes
2. Regina Sululu (female) - DPP 717 votes
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Commission I, Justice Maxon Raphael Mbendera, SC now declare Master Rodgers Chazama who contested as Malawi Congress Party candidate the winner in the Ngala Ward by-election.
Zomba Chisi had six candidates. With a total of 25,794 registered voters, 9,429 registered voters turned out for polling. This represents 36.56% voter turnout. There were 135 null and void votes. This represents 1.43%. The results of the voting are as follows:
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Commission I, Justice Maxon Raphael Mbendera, SC now declare Mark Michael Botomani who contested as Democratic Progressive Party candidate the winner in the Zomba Chisi by-election.
In all the three areas we had 67,557 registered voters. A total of 16,126 voters turned up for polling representing voter turnout of 23.87 percent. The highest percentage voter turnout was 36.56 registered in Zomba Chisi Constituency while the lowest was 13.88 in Ngala Ward. The voter turnout this time around is less satisfactory if compared to the turn out in the by-elections held on August 25 this year. During the August 25 by-elections, held in five wards, the average voter turnout was 25.87 percent.
Our Observations and concerns
On behalf of the Commission, I congratulate the winners and wish them well. I urge all political parties and candidates to accept the outcome of the election as the expression, reflection and representation of the will of the people.
I encourage any party or candidate wishing to challenge the election results to do so in accordance with the Laws of the Republic of Malawi.
I also thank everyone present here for coming to witness this ceremony. Your presence is not taken for granted. It is highly regarded.
May God Bless you All.
May God bless Mother Malawi.
I thank you for your attention.
Made this 23rd day of December 2015 at Blantyre
Justice Maxon Raphael Mbendera, SC