Malawi top singers Maskal, Lucius Banda accredited to assist in civic voter education

Malawi’s Afro-pop star Maskal and top selling musicians Lucius Banda and Mlaka Maliro are among the 287 service providers who have been accredited to assist in the delivery of the civic and voter education ahead of the 2014 tripartite elections.

In an effort to promote and raise awareness of the elections, the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) delegates its mandate to accredited service providers to ensure credible elections.

The electoral body says it delegates its mandate to accredited service providers to ensure credible elections.

Out of the 287, 107 are civil society organisations, 31 media houses and four road show promoters.

Kalonga: Commission has certified about 287 service providers across the country

Kalonga: Commission has certified about 287 service providers across the country

Mec has also accredited 91 drama groups, five radio and TV comedians, 16 advertising agencies and 33 musicians.

Notable radio and TV comedians include Mr Jokes, Chindime and Samalani, Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa and First Dawn Arts whereas Nyimbo Music Company, gospel musician Princes Chitsulo, Patrick Simakweli and Ravers Band also appear on the list of accredited musicians.

“This accreditation is subject to the organization signing to abide by the code of conduct issued by the Commission,” says Willy Kalonga, Chief Elections Officers.

All the accredited service providers will be issued with certificates, according to Kalonga.

MEC is a body mandated to conduct elections and promote public awareness of electoral matters in the country through the media and other appropriate and effective means.

However, in line with the democratic principles and best practices as observed internationally, it delegates its mandate to accredited service providers to assist in the delivery of civic and voter education.

All things being equal, Malawi is expected to conduct its first ever tripartite elections- presidential, parliamentary and councilors- next year amid concerns from various stakeholders on various issues that are not yet ready such as harmonization of the electoral system.

With about exactly a year to go, the actual race appear to be centered on three political parties which are the ruling Peoples Party (PP) of President Joyce Banda and the two immediate past former ruling parties- Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) whose torch bearer is expected to be known in the next few days after its first ever national convention since the party’s formation eight years ago and the United Democratic Front (UDF) to be represented by youth Atupele Muluzi.

Malawi Government disclosed this week it will set aside not less than K14.2 billion to finance the forthcoming elections, the fourth since the dawn of multiparty politics in 1994.—(Additional reporting by Lucky Mkandawire, Nyasa Times)

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