I have full confidence in Mtalimanja – Mwakasungula

Governance and Human Rights Advocate Undule Mwakasungula has congratulated President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera for appointing Justice Annabel Mtalimanja as the new Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson.

President Chakwera has appointed Mtalimanja to replace Justice Dr. Chifundo Kachale whose tenure expired a few days ago. The Malawi leader has also appointed Rev. Phillip P.J. Kambulire and Dr. Limbikani Kamlongera as Commissioners replacing Dr. Anthony Mkumbwa and Olivia Mchanju Liwewe whose term of office also expired.

MEC Director of Media and Public Relations, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, in a statement issued on Thursday, disclosed that these appointments are effective June 7, 2024.

Their appointments have, however, drawn mixed reactions from Malawians, with others asserting that appointees are politically connected to the parties in the Tonse Alliance administration.

But Mwakasungula dismisses this assertion, stressing that Mtalimanja and the others are people of high caliber.

“I have full confidence in Justice Annabel Mtalimanja ability to lead the MEC with distinction and to meet the high expectations of the Malawians. It is against this background that I have the pleasure to welcome the appointment of Hon. Justice Annabel Mtalimanja as the new Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).  This timely appointment by His Excellency, the President, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, comes at a a  time the country is gearing up for the 2025 general elections. The presence of a new leader at the helm of the MEC ensures that the Commission is well-prepared to uphold the democratic process with integrity, transparency, and professionalism,” he said.

Mwakasungula: Let us desist from raising alarm over unfounded theories when the President makes an appointment
Mwakasungula: Let us desist from raising alarm over unfounded theories when the President makes an appointment

Mwakasungula added that the appointment of Mtalimanja is not only a mark to her capabilities and accomplishments, but also send the message on the importance of promoting women in leadership positions.

He said women’s participation in governance and leadership roles is important for the advancement of gender equity and the overall development of any nation.

“This appointment serves as an inspiration to women and girls across Malawi, demonstrating that their contributions are valued to the nation’s progress. Moreover, this decision reflects President Dr Lazarus Chakwera and the government’s commitment to promoting gender equity.  As appointing a woman to this key role, the government reaffirms its dedication to ensuring that leadership opportunities are accessible to all, regardless of gender.  This move aligns with both national aspirations and international commitments to gender equality, further solidifying Malawi’s position as a forward-thinking and inclusive nation,” narrated Mwakasungula.

The revered human rights and governance advocate urged the appointees to discharge their duties beyond reproach, saying the nation is looking up to them to guide the MEC with professionalism and integrity.

“Your leadership will be key in ensuring that the 2025 general elections are conducted in a manner that is free, fair, and credible,” said Mwakasungula.

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