With less than two years remaining until the General Election on 16 September 2025, the Malawi Electoral Commission held a meeting with the high command of the Malawi Police Service to reflect on past performance and plan for the upcoming elections.
The meeting involved the participation of the Commissioners of the Malawi Electoral Commission, led by Chairman Justice Dr. Chifundo Kachale, and the Commissioners of the Malawi Police Service, led by the Inspector General, Madam Merlyine Yolamu.
In his remarks, Justice Dr. Kachale expressed gratitude to the Police Service for all the support rendered during electoral activities. He also thanked them for their availability for the high-level engagement with 23 months remaining before the elections.
“With approximately 23 months remaining, we are witnessing an increasing number of postures and preparations for the elections by various stakeholders. Therefore, it is right and proper that we engage each other on how to collaborate to ensure that the elections in September 2025 are conducted in an environment where everyone eligible has been given an opportunity to participate without being hindered by fears of violence or intimidation.”
“At the Commission, we believe that collaborating with other stakeholders while implementing our mandate does not undermine our independence; on the contrary, it helps us implement it more effectively,” he said.
Justice Dr. Kachale added; “That is why the Commission has, from time to time, signed memorandums with other legislative bodies or even formed task forces to ensure the effective implementation of activities.”
He mentioned that the Commission has an operational plan outlining all activities to be implemented up to the polling day and beyond. “If we keep everything to ourselves, we are doing a disservice and denying ourselves the opportunity to benefit better from the services of the Police. If we share everything now, it will provide room for engagement and collaboration. What we expect from the Malawi Police Service goes beyond the usual services like escorts and placement of officers at the center,” he said.
The MEC Chairman announced that the Commission would revive the security task force as a platform for engaging with all security institutions regarding election issues. He also commended all police officers who work with dedication when engaged for MEC activities and expressed the Commission’s commitment to improving their welfare.
On her part, the Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service underscored the constitutional obligation of the police to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their social status, gender, identity, age, disability, or any other distinguishing factor, have equal access to and can fully and freely enjoy their democratic rights.
“It is, therefore, very important that the police and electoral security stakeholders develop strategies to enhance our capacity to manage the security of the forthcoming elections to the satisfaction of the public.”
“I commend the Malawi Electoral Commission for the timing of this meeting. Although 2025 may seem distant today, considering the challenges faced in previous elections, we recognize that we have an enormous task ahead of us,” she said.
During the meeting, the MEC Chief Elections Officer, Mr. Andrew Mpesi, presented on the role of the Malawi Police Service during elections. He highlighted the electoral legal framework, the electoral cycle, electoral dispute resolution mechanisms, and the general responsibilities of the police in ensuring the conduct of free, fair, and credible elections. He concluded his presentation by suggesting the establishment of an Election Security Forum, which would serve as the central hub for addressing all matters related to election security.
Superintendent Bushiri Bushiri delivered a presentation from the Police Service, focusing on the mandate of the police, reflecting on past electoral experiences, and providing an update on the status of preparations for the 2025 elections.