Friday, 11 August 2023, was a great day for the Malawi Electoral Commission as it launched two documents: the 2023-28 Strategic Plan and the 2025 General Election Operational Plan in Lilongwe.
The launch was held under the theme “Enhancing Cost-Effectiveness In Election Management Through Digitalisation”.
In his launch speech, the MEC chairman, Justice Dr Chifundo Kachale said the Strategic Plan reflected collective vision of the Commission, encapsulating aspirations, goals, and objectives.
“This plan guides our activities over the next five years, enabling us to respond to the evolving electoral landscape and at the same time adapt the Commission organizationally to better fit the conditions of that future.
“With this plan, we aim to enhance the efficiency, credibility, and inclusivity of the electoral process, thereby strengthening public trust and confidence in the MEC,” he said.
This is the fifth Strategic Plan since establishment of the Commission in 1998. The first Strategic Plan was formulated for the period 2001 to 2004 and was succeeded respectively by the plans for the periods 2005 to 2009 and 2013 to 2017. The fourth one covered January 2018 to December 2022.
“The past Strategic Plans were building blocks of the platform stand on today to launch another well-articulated document. The Strategic Plan we are launching today, has benefitted from the successes and challenges faced with its preceding versions,” he said.
The MEC Chairman added, “There is no way the MEC can be a beacon of democracy if itself does not know where it wants to be in the next five years”.
The activities to be implemented under the new Strategic Plan have been estimated to cost K237 billion.
In his remarks, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr Challa Getachew thanked the MEC for the great effort put into the development of the Strategic Plan and the Electoral Operational Plan.
“Going through the Strategic Plan it is evident that it is a result of extensive research and stakeholder consultations. The Strategic Plan will assist the Malawi Electoral Commission to consolidate and build on the positive reforms and innovations from the experience of the last election” he said.
The new vision of the Commission is to be “A professional and trusted electoral management body that delivers credible elections in Malawi”. And this is supported by the mission which is “To deliver credible elections according to the laws of Malawi to entrench democratic values by implementing MEC’s activities in a free, fair, transparent, cost-effective and inclusive manner”.
The Strategic Plan has four pillars which are Electoral Environment, Internal Business Processes, Electoral Operations and Information Management Systems and Monitoring and Evaluation.
The 2025 General Operational Plan outlines the roadmap and activities that the Commission will undertake in the runup to the next general election.
The launch was attended by the Chief Justice, leaders of all 13 registered political parties, representatives of CSOs, government ministries, departments and agencies, the media and MEC staff from all the councils.