Mzimba Central constituency by-elections on Tuesday were characterised by irregularities, a development that saw voters, including Peopleâ€™s Party candidate Aaram Beza, being sent back.
However, Malawi Electoral Commissionâ€™s Electoral Services Committee chairperson Emmanuel Chinkwita Phiri said the irregularities being noted in the by-elections will help them prepare for 2014 elections.
â€œIf there are any irregularities or any problems, they will help us prepare for 2014 elections as we are also focussing on 2014,â€ said Phiri.
Visits by The Nation to some centres found some voters being sent back because their names were missing on the votersâ€™ roll.
One of the victims, Tifness Ngoma, 70, who was sent back at Mbalachanda polling centre, said her right to vote had been affected. She said she was afraid that such cases would affect the outcome of the elections.
â€œA number of people are complaining of the same and if we donâ€™t vote, we will not have an MP of our choice,â€ said Ngoma.
Other voters were also being sent back because they did not get transfer letters.
People from other constituencies also stormed the polling stations but were being sent back. Other intruders included people who transferred to the constituency but already voted in other constituencies.
PP candidate Aaram Beza was denied the chance to vote at Ethuleni because he registered and already voted in Rumphi Central by-elections.
According to Phiri, MEC allowed people whose names were missing to vote after clearly scrutinising their certificates in terms of serial number ranges. He added that such cases were not serious.
On intruders, Phiri said he was aware of three cases in different constituencies where people from other areas came to vote and were sent back.
On PPâ€™s candidate, Phiri said the law is clear that a person who already voted in another constituency cannot be allowed to vote in by-elections.
â€œThe law simply states that one can contest for a parliamentary seat in a by-election but cannot vote if they already voted in another centre. If you vote, you are abusing your right to vote because the person you voted is already in Parliament,â€ said Phiri.