Call for Public Review and Justification of MEC Expenditure on Legal Services

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Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has engaged a South African Law firm at a cost in excess of  MK500,000,000 (Five Hundred Million Kwacha) as legal fees for the ongoing electoral case.

"Malawi is a poor country"_ this is the introduction of our country in most every publication you may come across including those developed by Government itself. It therefore raises a lot of questions how this poor country can afford to spend such an exorbitant amount of money for procurement of legal services. Is this really how we should be spending the taxpayers money? The same taxpayers who are currently battling a food crisis; facing shortage of medicine in hospitals; and being subjected to poor standards of education on the claim of "limited public resources"?

We as the Taxpayers would like to call for a review of this decision by MEC and a justification for the procurement of such expensive legal counsel; including the details of the procurement process and relevant notes. We would also like to understand how the MEC will reconcile this expenditure with the claim that they do not have adequate resources to pay for the upcoming elections slated for 19 May 2020. We also need a clear indication of where the resources to pay for these costs will be sourced from.

We therefore call upon the Malawi Law Society to:

  1. Immediately obtain an injunction against this unjustified procurement;
  2. Conduct a review and provide justification for the quoted legal fees, procurement protocols, and the basis for the procurement decision in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act of 2017.