"Malawi is not in a crisis": Analysts - CNBC Africa

"Malawi is not in a crisis": Analysts

Southern Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

President Joyce Banda's party is believed to have come as distant third in the just ended elections. PHOTO: PeaceAU

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) which conducted the country’s first tripartite elections conceded that it had discovered anomalies that could affect the overall outcome of the results.

(READ MORE: Malawi electoral outcome crucial for the reform agenda)

Upon the discovery of the variances, President Joyce Banda last Saturday called for another round of polls that she promised not to contest arguing that the just ended elections were rigged and could not produce a credible winner.

Banda's call was dismissed by the country's high court threatening to push the country into a constitutional and political crisis. 

Kealeboga Maphunye, a UNISA researcher and an intellectual in political sciences told CNBC Africa that the country was not in a crisis however urged citizens to wait for a conclusion from the courts.

“It is still early to conclude that Malawi is in a crisis as we still have to wait for the legal wrangling by the country’s leading political actors,” noted Maphunye.

Maphunye said the country’s electoral management process had not been handled properly.

“The issue of rule of law in the continent is a big concern and one would like to see Malawi running its electoral processes following the due process of the law.”


Supporting Maphunye’s comments, Gary Van Staden, a senior political analyst with NKC Independent Economists noted that it was important to take the necessary time than for the MEC to rush and produce discredited results.

“There is a lot of administrative stuff to be sorted, but it is important to make sure that the counting is accurate, so if it takes 30 days to ensure the accuracy, let it be than having two years of unrest,” he said.

Van Staden said, Malawi was not in a crisis but would have been in meyham if the courts had upheld the call made by the president.

Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa senior researcher at Human Rights Watch said the ongoing counting process was a test for the country’s young democracy.

(READ MORE: Malawi's 'electoral outcome' threatens a crisis)

“The good thing about Malawi elections is that the pre-election and voting period were fairly peaceful and without violence or other human rights abuses,” said Mavhinga to CNBC Africa.com.

“Vote counting and post-election period is now a litmus test of the maturity of the Malawian democracy. It is important for President Joyce Banda and other political leaders to preserve the independence of key institutions like the electoral commission, the courts and security forces.”

He added that it was commendable that so far these institutions, especially the army and police, have remained neutral and non-partisan.