The political vibe that people in the commercial city of Blantyre were enjoying during election season has come to an abrupt end. This means that the presentation of papers by candidates at COMESA Hall or College of Medicine Sports Complex and all its attendant highly charged press conferences and results announcement occasions which the people of Blantyre enjoyed has been assigned to Lilongwe citizens now following the re-location of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) headquarters to Lilongwe.
The move was announced by the Deputy Minister of Lands Deus Gumba who facilitated the transfer by allocating the building which housed MERA to MEC at the City Centre.
“Today My Ministry achieved another significant milestone by facilitating the relocation of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Headquarters from Blantyre to the Capital City. This is a historical moment for our Country. Experts have indicated that this move alone will result in cost savings of up to 30% in operational costs. MEC will now be safely housed in Development House in City Centre, which was formerly occupied by Malawi Regulatory Authority (MERA),” wrote Gumba on her Facebook Page.
He added: “To grace the occasion, in person, was MEC Chairperson Hon Dr. Chifundo Kachale and other distinguished Commissioners.
According to Gumba, since assuming office, His Excellence Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, having understood the operational, administrative, and cost efficiencies to be held from moving state and quasi-state offices to Lilongwe has determined to continue the consolidation of Government to the Capital City. MEC is just one of the other Government Departments and Parastatals that are earmarked for similar transfers.
Gumba gave a historical account:
“The relocation of Malawi’s Capital City from Zomba to Lilongwe in 1975 was a crucial decision for the Country. The immediate impact of this change at the time was the establishment of Capital Hill in Lilongwe as all key Government Ministries and Departments were required to be centrally located in order to equitably serve the new nation. Understandably, this was a gigantic project that could not be undertaken in one go. And so, it continues to this day.”
“Join me in congratulating MEC and its secretariat for this massive leap. On a special note, allow me to express my sincere gratitude to His Excellence the President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chekwera without whose able leadership none of this would have come into fruition.”