Declaration of Results Speech by Justice Dr Jane Ansah

 

MALAWI ELECTORAL COMMISSION

DECLARATION OF RESULTS FOR:

  • Mchinji West Constituency in Mchinji District
  • Bunda Ward in Kasungu Municipal Council
  • Kaliyeka Ward in Lilongwe City Council
  • Bembeke Ward in Dedza District Council
  • Sadzi Ward in Zomba City Council

DELIVERED BY MEC CHAIRPERSON, JUSTICE DR. JANE ANSAH SC, IN BLANTYRE AT MOUNT SOCHE HOTEL

02nd November, 2016, Blantyre

  • My fellow Commissioners,
  • The Acting Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Thandie Nkovole
  • All candidates, representatives of various political parties and candidates
  • Representatives of various Civil Society Organizations
  • Management and staff from MEC secretariat
  • Members of the press
  • Ladies and gentlemen;  

 

I welcome you all to this function today where the Commission will announce the official results following the by-elections that were held on Tuesday, 1 November, 2016. 

The Commission met earlier today to determine the results. However, before I announce the results, allow me to give an overview of the journey we have travelled together to reach this far. 

The vacancy in Mchinji West Constituency arose following the death of Hon. Billy Kanjira Banda on 13 March, 2016.

The vacancy in Sadzi Ward in Zomba City Council arose following the death of a member of the council, Davison Namonde on 4 June 2016.

The vacancy in Bembeke Ward in Dedza District Council arose following the conviction of a member of the council, Davie Lingalawe on 4 July, 2016.

The vacancy in Kaliyeka Ward in Lilongwe City Council arose following the death of a member of the council, Maria Mponda on 5 July, 2016.

The vacancy in Bunda Ward in Kasungu Municipal Council arose following the death of a member of the council, Bernard Theu on 27 July, 2016.

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. 

This is the fourth by-electionto be held after the 20th May, 2014 Tripartite Elections. The national launch for the by-elections was held on 16 September, 2016 followed by launch at local level on 3 October, 2016 in all the five areas. Then followed with registration and voter verification from 12thOctober to 16 October 2016.  

During this period, the Commission registered 6,153 (3,369 men and 2,784 women) first-time voters bringing the total number of registered voters to 133,345.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the Commission received 28 nomination papers on 17th October 2016 through the Returning Officers.  There were 4 candidates in Mchinji West Constituency, 5 candidates in Bunda Ward, 3 candidates in Kaliyeka Ward, 8 candidates in Bembeke Ward and 7 candidates in Sadzi Ward.

At its meeting held on 19th October 2016 the Commission approved 27 candidates to contest.

Out of the 27 candidates who were approved, only 3 were women. If you look at the statistics you will see that representation of women in political positions is retrogressing.

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. On the other hand, gender activists are pushing for the same.  The Government is advocating for increased numbers of women in leadership positions.

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

MEC wishes to extend its appreciation to the Ministry of Finance for timely release of funds to conduct the by-elections.

We commend the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) for its continued support in public mobilisation whenever there is a by-election.   

We appreciate the faith-based organizations and religious leaders who helped in voter education by reading to their congregations the letters that MEC sent to them with various voter information.

Further appreciation should go to the Traditional leaders because they mobilized their subjects when we went to conduct voter education meetings in their areas. 

We continue to appreciate the Malawi Police Service for providing security from the start to the end of the by-elections today.

The media for sensitizing the public on these by-elections and publishing correct information.

District Commissioners, Chief Executives of councils and members of District Election Supervisory Committees who managed the elections on the ground.

A fitting word of high and hearty commendation to my fellow Commissioners and the MEC secretariat staff for their dedication, professionalism, commitment and selflessness in managing the electoral process so well – To you I say well done!! Keep it up!

Finally I should also express sincere gratitude and appreciation to all registered voters and Malawians at large for the manifestation of tolerance, peace, trust and spirit of cooperation in their conduct, during the electoral period. I should also in a special way thank all those that turned up for voting.

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, 1 November, 2016 from 6AM to 6PM. 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 as such.  

The Commission has, therefore, determined the results as follows:-

  • Mchinji West Constituency in Mchinji District Council

Mchinji West Constituency had four candidates. With a total of 63, 660 registered voters, 16, 454 registered voters turned up for polling.  This represents 25.85% voter turnout.  There were 214 null and void votes.  This represents 1.30%. The results of the voting are as follows:

1. Stephano Mwale KAMWANI DPP 4, 806 VOTES

2. Peter DominicoSinosi Driver Mbakuwaku KUWANI 673 VOTES

3. Arnold Malingamoyo LYSON PP 114 VOTES

4.JephterFackson MWALE MCP 10, 647 VOTES

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Commission I, Justice Dr Jane Ansah, SC now declare JephterFackson MWALE who contested as MCP candidate the winner in the Mchinji West Constituency by-election. 

  • Bunda Ward in Kasungu Municipal Council

Bunda Ward had five candidates. With a total of 3, 060 registered voters, 1, 218 registered voters turned up for polling.  This represents 39.74% voter turnout.  There were 13 null and void votes. This represents 1.07%. The results of the voting are as follows:

1. Mark CHIWAWALU UDF 12 VOTES

2. Patrick MBALE INDEPENDENT 8 VOTES

3. Gerald Bornface PHIRI INDEPENDENT 269 VOTES

4.Jonathan Kayafa TEMBO MCP 297 VOTES

5.PhillimoniMbalela THEU DPP 619 VOTES

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Commission I, Justice Dr Jane Ansah, SC now declare PhillimoniMbale THEU who contested as DPP candidate the winner in the Bunda Ward by-election. 

  • Kaliyeka Ward in LilongweCity Council

Kaliyeka Ward had three candidates. With a total of11, 649 registered voters,1, 465 registered voters turned up for polling.  This represents 12. 58% voter turnout.  There were 11 null and void votes. This represents 0.75%.The results of the voting are as follows:

1. Richard BANDA MCP 761 VOTES

2.Saidi Yusuf KALULU PP 52 VOTES

3. Stella Mlowoka NYASULU DPP 641 VOTES

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Commission, I Justice Dr Jane Ansah, SC now declare Richard BANDA who contested as MCP candidate the winner in the Kaliyeka Ward by-election. 

  • Bembeke Ward in DedzaDistrict Council

Bembeke Ward had eight candidates. With a total of 50, 961 registered voters, 4, 768 registered voters turned up for polling.  This represents 9.36% voter turnout.  There were 86 null and void votes.  This represents 1.80%.The results of the voting are as follows:

1. Betty ACHAM’BOTIMALUWA DPP 1, 340 VOTES

2. Fin Brandson CHIBWEYA INDEPENDENT 66 VOTES

3. Patrick CHIMLAMBE PP 69 VOTES

4. Joseph KUMBUWA INDEPENDENT 312 VOTES

5. Noel BENGO UDF 135 VOTES

6.Mose Harry SANDEY MUP 85 VOTES

7. Wilfred TSANGALA MCP 2, 626 VOTES

8.Obester Gerald ZUNGU INDEPENDENT  49 VOTES

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Commission I, Justice Dr Jane Ansah, SC now declare Wilfred TSANGALA who contested as MCP candidate the winner in the Bembeke Ward by-election. 

  • Sadzi Ward in ZombaCity Council

Sadzi Ward had seven candidates. With a total of 4, 015 registered voters, 1, 245 registered voters turned up for polling.  This represents 31.01% voter turnout.  There were 4 null and void votes.  This represents 0.32%. The results of the voting are as follows:

1.Limbani BANDAH INDEPENDENT 256 VOTES

2. Mercy Nkhoma CHAPUTULA DPP 400 VOTES

3.Meleka SJAMU UDF 156 VOTES

4.George KAUGALE INDEPENDENT 12 VOTES

5. John F .C MWENTEMASI MCP 17 VOTES

6.Charles SIMBANI PP 266 VOTES

7. Jackson TWALIKI INDEPENDENT 134 VOTES

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Commission I, Justice Dr Jane Ansah, SC now declare Mercy Nkhoma CHAPUTULA who contested as DPP candidate the winner in the Sadzi Ward by-election. 

 

Our Observations and concerns

 The low voter turnout trend is of concern to the Commission. It was stated last time that there was need for a thorough research to look into the structural causes and we still push for this. We need to go to the electorate and hear what makes them not to show up in good numbers for polling as they do during campaign rallies despite all the efforts the Commission and other stakeholders put in place to mobilize them.

The number of political parties contesting in by-elections is dwindling. We have over 50 registered parties but only five out of these, contested in these by-elections. During the Tripartite Elections only 19 political parties participated.

During the October 8, 2014 by-elections 5 political parties participated. During the 25 August, 2015 by-elections seven political parties contested. During the 22 December 2015, 3Political parties contested. The Commission is encouraging political parties to contest in by-elections since a big number of political parties participation in elections give voters a wider choice of candidates to choose from.

We have also noted silence from the women empowerment advocates. During the Tripartite Elections there were so manystakeholders rising up to give moral, technical and material support and encouraging women to contest in elections. We have noted no firm action from the activists to support women participation. MEC adopted the cycle approach to elections management and we expect all the stakeholders to follow suit. They should not be active during national elections and then go under like submarines. The by-elections offer an opportunity for the activists to concentrate their efforts and encourage women to participate in elections.

There are many civil society groups that were accredited to help with voter education. However, many are not seen to be active during by-elections. We urge them to continue using their accreditation during by-elections. They should also adopt the electoral cycle approach. The same message should be extended to the Development Partners who provide support to the CSOs. Some CSOs want to implement activities during the in-between the ballot period but it is difficult for them to get the funding. 

Conclusion

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 appreciated.   

May God Bless you All.   May God bless Mother Malawi.   I thank you for your attention. 

Made this2ndday of November, 2016 at Blantyre    

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Justice Dr Jane Ansah, SC CHAIRPERSON