- Published on 03 February 2014
- Written by Staff Reporter
Malawi opposition parties are crying foul as Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has been fingered in the country's rigging claims in preparation for their May 20 presidential elections.
It is reported that there was chaos in Lilongwe when Malawi Electoral Commission revealed that it had been assisted by Zimbabwean Electoral Commission to prepare for its forthcoming elections.
"The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) claimed it had received 350 tents as well as about 10,000 gas lamps from ZEC. The opposition is worried there could be more to this than just lamps and tents. We all think there is rigging already underway," a source said.
Another source from Malawi Electoral commission said his organisation had sent a team to Zimbabwe to "learn" from Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
"I am aware that we have a team that is in Zimbabwe and they are yet to return home," the official said.
When reached for comment, ZEC, chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau, confirmed offering "assistance" to their Malawian counterparts.
"They (MEC) asked for assistance and we provided 8,000 gas lamps and a team from Malawi was in the country for training in election management. They have already left, you missed them unfortunately. The Malawian Electoral Commission also asked for our results management forms to see if they suit their election process. These are forms that are used for the transmission of results from different centres," Justice Makarau said.
The "assistance" offered by Zimbabwe's ZEC to Malawi comes a few months after reports alleging that President Mugabe's government and shadowy Israeli security company Nikuv International Projects were allegedly hired to computerise Malawi's home affairs department and supply voter registration cards as the country prepares for general elections in 2014.
Current Malawian president, Joyce Banda, last year sent a Malawian team for attachment to Zimbabwe's Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede's offices which undertook the chaotic voter registration exercise and managed the shambolic voters' roll.
Like Zimbabwe, Malawi also has a messy voters' roll which opposition parties say is always tampered with by incumbents during elections to ensure rigging.
Apart from reportedly earning US$13 million for "managing" Zimbabwe's voter's roll, Nikuv, which still stands accused of being the 'man of the match' in rigging Zimbabwe's disputed 2013 elections, Nikuv has made a fortune through its activities in Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria, Lesotho and Zambia where it was taken to court in 1996 on allegations of election rigging.