By Deus Kaminga and Gomes Chafulumira
In just a matter of days to the May 21 polls, it can be revealed that, the person holding the appointed office of Deputy Chief Executive Office (DCEO) at National Oil Company of Malawi Limited (NOCMA), Gladys Ganda did not resign from her position in order to contest for parliamentary position on Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ticket in Nsanje Lalanje constituency as is per required by the law.
The law as prescribed in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi restrains one from contesting for any political position if he or she did not first resign before presenting nomination papers.
Section 51 (2) (e) of the constitution says “no person shall be qualified to be nominated or elected as Member of Parliament (MP) if that person holds public office or appointment except where the constitution provides that a person shall not be disqualified from election solely on account of holding that office or appointment or where that person resigns from that office in order to stand.
But according to media investigation, the DPP candidate for Nsanje Lalanje in question did not resign despite holding the appointed position.
The investigation also found that, apart contravening with the law on clinging onto the appointed position while contesting for the political office, Ganda also uses her official vehicle, aToyota Prado Landcruiser for her campaign ahead of the elections.
When contacted to hear if it is aware about the fact that one of the parliamentary candidates in Nsanje Lalanje still holds appointed position in the parastatal, Director of Media and Public Relations at Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Sangwani Mwafulirwa expressed ignorant on the matter.
Mwafulirwa however asked for more time to investigate.
Gladys Ganda who is wife to former DPP legislature for Nsanje-Lalanje, the late Sam Ganda had previously contested for the position of MP on the same party’s ticket during the October 17, 2017 by-elections and had failed to the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate, Lawrence Sitolo who emerged victorious.
As a way to compensate her following her loss to make it through the by-elections, the powers that be in the DPP offered Gladys Ganda, the former banker a job by appointing her as second in charge at the national oil parastal.
Recently, MEC has disqualified aspiring candidate, Medson Grandson Nkhoma who was an Independent Parliamentary Candidate for Dowa South-East constituency after MEC found out that he was still working with the Road Traffic Directorate and had not resigned from her position despite being a candidate.
The elections refree had acted on a public complaint hence instituted its own investigation on the matter.