Social media commentators have hailed the decision by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker for Nkhata Bay Central Constituency, Symon Vuwa Kaunda, to drag Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to court for the loss he incurred to reclaim his seat following the nullification of his victory in May 2021.
The commentators emphasize that it is high time Malawians started holding MEC accountable for the irregularities during elections.
Vuwa Kaunda is demanding that MEC should pay him K600 million for the psychologic and physical torture and economic loss he suffered to defend his victory in the May 2019 parliamentary elections.
However, MEC has refused to honour the claim, a decision MEC Director of Legal Affairs, David Matumika Banda, said they have already communicated to the claimant’s lawyers.
Banda argued that the claim was directed at the wrong party.
Vuwa Kaunda, who acknowledged receipt of the response from the pollster, maintains that MEC is the right institution to sue by virtue of its mandate to conduct free, fair and credible elections.
The legislator argued that in the event that the election has been riddled with irregularities, the Commission needs and must take responsibility.
“In a game of football, the referee would be penalized if he did not officiate the match professionally. So, is it not surprising that I have been punished on behalf of MEC, which messed up an election and went away with it?” he asked.
“I incurred huge economic loss to conduct fresh campaign to reclaim my seat just because of some employees at MEC were didn’t do their job right. So, is it not only fair that MEC should compensate me for such a loss inflicted on me by them?” argued Vuwa Kaunda.
Some Malawians have concurred with the legislator, arguing time had come for MEC to be held to account for its misconduct.
A China-based Malawian, who only identifies himself as Che Lifa, said at law, damages are a remedy in the form of a monetary award to be paid to a claimant as compensation for loss or injury.
“To warrant the award, the claimant must show that a breach of duty has caused foreseeable loss,” said Lifa in his post on News and Reports Forum.
Another social media enthusiast [name deliberately withheld] said MEC’s negligence must not be overlooked in this case.
He said Kaunda had every reason to take this matter to High Court.
“MEC, in my opinion, should have engaged Vuwa Kaunda’s lawyers outside court and reach a consensus. Already, both the ConCourt and the Supreme Court of Appeal agreed that the previous MEC was incompetent. The chances for Mr. Kaunda winning the case are higher than that of MEC,” he said.
In his contribution, Sheikh Jaffar Kawinga said Vuwa Kaunda had a stronger case against the pollster.