Cape Town – Malawi's opposition parties have reportedly expressed fears that the forthcoming elections might be rigged following reports that Zimbabwe has offered logistical support to the country's electoral commission.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) confirmed that it was supplying the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) with gas lamps and tents to assist it on the polling day, according to a BNL Times report.
Opposition parties have, however, questioned the ties, alleging that it was a conspiracy to rig the 20 May polls in favour of President Joyce Banda.
Opposition candidate Atupele Muluzi questioned Mec's rationale to borrow gas lamps from Zimbabwe, yet generators were procured for the 2009 elections.
"Why should Mec borrow gas lamps from Zimbabwe when the country is keeping generators that were used in the previous elections?", Muluzi was quoted as asking.
Civil organisations also weighed in, with Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) demanding to know what else the government was "borrowing from Zimbabwe apart from those lamps and tents".
The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) National Co-ordinator Chris Chisoni said his organisation was on alert, adding that Zec's involvement in the elections was a threat to Malawi's democracy "because Zimbabwe has never held credible elections".
Chisoni wondered why Mec opted to establish working relationship with Zimbabwe out of the many other credible countries in the SADC region, said the report.