CLARIFICATION OF MEC’S DEBT POSITION
During the past month, the media has published news on our failure to pay debts. Sheriffs from the High Court have over the past few days seized property to enforce the judgments obtained against MEC.
MEC engaged a number of service providers in readiness for elections between 2010 -2014; for the failed Local Government Elections of 2010 and the Tripartite Elections of 2014. MEC submitted budgets and requested for specific funding for all planned events that would allow for the engagement of the different service providers. Those budgets were passed by Parliament. Unfortunately Government has not been able to meet all its commitments to us.
MEC now owes several service providers money for the services rendered to us that allowed us to deliver elections. We owe local creditors MK 742, 170, 873 and foreign creditors $ 485,648 plus ZAR 21,000. (Find the full list of certified debt portfolio here)
After the Tripartite Elections MEC had unpaid debt of over one billion kwacha. Various schemes were considered but never resulted in settlement. The debt portfolio was duly certified as early as June 2015 by the Auditor General who presented the certified list to the Treasury for payment.
Over the past two years we have been in constant consultation with Government to find a solution to the debt problem. Initially, Government proposed issuance of treasury bonds to the creditors. When that did not work, Government assured us that all arrears would be included in the 2015/16 midyear budget review. That assurance was given in December 2015 but this too did not materialize. The mid-year budget has not included the arrears; hence MEC does not have the money to clear the arrears.
Esteemed Malawians should know that MEC entirely depends on Government to provide all the funding necessary to cater for the arrears as well as to provide resources to pay for current activities. We would like to reiterate that the Commission is committed to paying all its debt and we plead with those that we owe money, to bear with us because we are doing everything we can to regularize the situation.
For further enquiries please contact the under signed on: 01 822 033/ 01 821 585/ 846 or email@example.com
Signed this day, 1st April 2016 at Blantyre
Chief Elections Officer
Malawi Electoral Commission