EU Team Causes Political Stir
News that the European Union delegation that observed the 2019 Malawi tripartite polls are coming back to present a final report to stakeholders, has been met with mixed reactions with the majority of those we have spoken to detesting the idea and dubbing it 'ill timed'.
The majority of those we have spoken to argue that presentation of the said report would best have come before the dispute was taken to the courts or after.
"We don't need their report now. Why are they coming now? What is the motivation? Our attention at this moment is the impending court verdict on the presidential election case," said Christina Lodzeni a resident of Mzuzu city.
Elsewhere in Blantyre, our reporter spoke to Sostein Andekuche Wanda who said "although the report is important, it should have come after the court process is exhausted" and not now.
"The EU issued a preliminary report. Obviously that pointed to the coming of a final report. But it should have naturally come that such a report should not be made public at this stage," said Wanda.
President of the UTM who was also a candidate in the disputed election, Dr. Saulosi Chilima, has rejected an invitation to meet the EU delegation on the said mission.
In a letter leaked to the media Tuesday, Chilima expressed concern at the timing of release of the election report saying as a party, the UTM found "it breaches the legal process underway in the Malawi court.
"I strongly object to the presentation of the report at this time. It must be obvious to both the delegation and the mission that comprehensive reports on the tripartite elections must be avoided in light of the litigation that has ensued," reads part of the letter Chilima has written the Acting EU Charge d'Affairs.
The EU had proposed to meet Chilima Thursday January 9th for presentation of the final report on the tripartite elections which were held on May 21, 2019.
Meanwhile, Malawi Congress Party presidential candidate in the election Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has also rejected the EU invitation on the same premise.
"He has done exactly what we expect," said mai Evelesi Kangaluche a confessed MCP supporter "We are waiting for the courts. Nothing else. No one should bring anything that takes away our attention from the case. We want justice,"
The election observer team was expected to arrive in the country Wednesday and, among other stakeholders, it is expected to meet President Mutharika who was also a candidate in the disputed election.
Officials at the EU delegation have been meeting over the matter. We will update you as and when new developments take place.