The chairperson for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) who was also judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, Justice Maxon Mbendera, has died.
According to Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula, Mbendera died in Lilongwe where he went for official duties. Mvula added that they are still liaising with Mbendera’s family to establish the cause of the death.
Mvula said the Judiciary has received the news of Mbendera’s death with great shock and that the Judiciary has lost one of its most committed, hard working and most qualified member.
“The gap he has left will be hard to fill. He was one of the people that would always offer to help and fill the gaps as you know we have shortage of judges. He was committed to the delivery of justice,” Mvula said.
However, a staff member from Mec said Mbendera was in Lilongwe where he had a meeting at the Auditor General’s office up until around 11am today. The staff said Mbendera was later rushed to the City Centre Clinic where he was briefly admitted before he died.
Mvula said funeral arrangements will only be communicated after speaking with Mbendera’s family.
Born on November 4 1958 in Malawi’s Central Region district of Ntcheu, Mbendera was appointed the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal Judge on December 14 2012 and in the same year, October, he was appointed MEC chairperson by former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika. He was appointed High Court Judge on September 12 2009.
His first job as head of the Malawi’s electoral body was the administering of the 2014 Tripartite Elections. Mbendera wept during the announcement of the winner of the 2014 elections which took almost a week to be released.
“I am crying because as I am announcing these results someone in Mangochi has lost a life because of these elections while someone is about to rejoice for winning the elections,” he said before he announced election results.