Mbendera calls for ‘research’ on voter apathy in Malawi, declares ‘credible’ by-election results

Malawi  Electoral Commission (MEC) has declared the official results of the Tuesday local government by-election which has seen ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) winning three of the five contested seats.

Justice Mbendera :  There should be a research on the phenomenon of voter apathy

Justice Mbendera : There should be a research on the phenomenon of voter apathy

Announcing the results, MEC chairperson Justice Maxon Raphael Mbendera said theelectoral body is “impressed” that this election had “all the required components of transparency, inclusiveness, freeness and fairness. “

He declared that the by- elections in all the five wards were “ free, fair and credible.”

Mbendera announced the results as follows:-

Khwawa Ward in Karonga had six candidates. With a total of 11,076 registered voters, 3,648 registered voters turned out. This represents 32.94 % voter turnout. There were 52 null and void votes. This represents 1.45 %. The results of the voting are as follows:

  1. Oswell Mdokera Chavula, Independent 45 votes
  2. Langfield Kanyimbo, People’s Party (PP) 1,107 votes
  3. Alick Tchokola Mhango, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 446 votes
  4. Bydon Katambika Msiska, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 1,378 votes
  5. John Chipapika Msiska, Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) 597 votes
  6. Hawkings Mtotomoka Munthali, United Democratic Front Party (UDF) 23 votes

Mbendera declared DPP’s Katambika Msiska as winner in the Khwawa Ward by-election.

In Mzuzu’s Chibanja Ward, he said six candidates contested . With a total of 6,137 registered voters, 1,248 voters turned out for polling representing 20.34% voter turnout. There were 6 null and void votes. This represents 0.48%. The results of the voting are as follows:

  1. Gibson Chisale, Alliance for Democracy Party (AFORD) 458 votes
  2. Esmey Jere, Umodzi Party (UP) 10 votes
  3. Ulaya Kaunda, Malawi Forum for Unity and Development Party (MAFUNDE) 5 votes
  4. George Manda, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 267 votes
  5. Charles Mlogera, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 486 votes
  6. Mike C. Phiri, Independent 16 votes

Mbendera declared Charles Mlogera of MCP as winner in the Chibanja Ward by-election.

In Mangochi Msikisi Ward, had six candidates. With a total of 2,891 registered voters, 1,045 registered voters turned out for polling. This represents36.15 % voter turnout.   There were 11 null and void votes.    This represents 1.05 %.

The results of the voting are as follows:

  1. 1. Fatima Chilawi, Independent 118 votes
  2. Rasha Chisoni, Malawi Forum for Unity and Development Party (MAFUNDE) 6 votes
  3. Frank Kambeta, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 64 votes
  4. Wellington Mangulenje, Independent 289 votes 8
  1. Idana Masiye, People’s Party (PP) 119 votes
  2. Oliver Tayub, United Democratic Front Party (UDF) 438 votes

Mbendera declared Oliver Tayub of UDF as winner in the Msikisi Ward by-election.

In Zomba Central Ward, 6,646 registered to voter, 892 registered voters turned out for polling. This represents 13.42% voter turnout. There were 6 null and void votes.This epresents 0.67 %.

The results of the voting are as follows:

  1. Munira Abdullah, Independent 240 votes
  2. Melia Likoswe Douglas, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 268 votes
  3. Harry John Mningwa, Malawi Forum for Unity and Development Party (MAFUNDE) 35 votes
  4. Wilknes Wilson Nakanga, Peoples Party (PP) 231 votes
  5. Prisca Golozera Unyolo, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 107 votes
  6. Ireless Wallani, Independent 5 votes

MEC chair declarec Douglas who contested as Democratic Progressive Party candidate as winner in the Zomba Central Ward by-election.

Luchenza Ward had five candidates with a total of 522 registered voters, 223 registered voters turned out for polling. This represents 42.72% voter turnout.  There were 3 null and void votes. This represents 1.35 %.

The results of the voting are as follows:

  1. Joseph Khoromana, Independent 40 votes
  2. Mercy Luwanda, Independent, 52 votes
  3. Dorothy Chibwana Mbayani, Peoples Party, (PP) 7 votes
  4. Henderson Alex Spoon, Democratic Progressive Party, (DPP) 96 votes
  5. James Namilonga Stenala, Malawi Congress Party, (MCP) 25 votes

MEC chair declared Henderson Alex Spoon of DPP as winner in the Luchenza Ward by-election.

Mbendera said the highest percentage voter turnout in the five wards was 42.72 registered in Luchenza Ward while the lowest was 13.42 percent in Zomba Central Ward. The average voter turnout was 25.87 percent.

“This is slightly lower than what was registered during the by-elections in two constituencies and five wards held on October 7, 201a . The highest turnout was 40.87 percent and the lowest being 12.12 percent. The average was 26.14 percent. This is not encouraging if compared to the turnout during the Tripartite Elections which was 70.7 percent,” said Mbendera.

Mbendera said the “phenomenon of voter apathy” is very worrisome.

MEC chair has since urged institutions of higher learning in the country to conduct a research on the causes of voter apathy in Malawi.

“As it is, we could be providing irrelevant civic education messages to the electorate and could be a waste of resources,” he said.

Some of the voters said it was a waste of time and resources to vote for councilors whose impact cannot be felt a year and some months after being ushered into office during the May 2914 elections.

Chief Elections Officer, Willie Kalonga said the body conducted serious and intensive civic and voter education programs for the by-elections and was surprised at the low turnout.

MEC chair has since urged all political parties and candidates to accept the outcome of the election as “the expression, reflection and representation of the will of the people.”

He encouraged any party or candidate wishing to challenge the election results to do so in accordance with the Laws of the Republic of Malawi.

“May the winners be gracious in victory and the losers note that it is a mark of fortitude to accept loss with quietness of spirit.     We commiserate with them while congratulating their victorious opponents,” he said.

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26 thoughts on “Mbendera calls for ‘research’ on voter apathy in Malawi, declares ‘credible’ by-election results”

  1. Ano mani says:

    Malawians voted 4 dpp exactly 2014 elections we will have 2 face the consequences

  2. Abambo says:

    Malawians voted 4 dpp exactly 2014 elections we will never learn we have 2 face the consequences

  3. Thitherward 'wendo says:

    As Alice Walker said: ‘The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.’

  4. Che Ngana says:

    Ndinadziwa Kuti Ya Leroyi Atalembe Ndi Wina Nyondo Analemba Kale Yache Dzulo.Bwanji Tipange Chonchi Kuti Nkhani Ithe Kuti Nanu Muone Polilira Eti.Titere MCP Yawina Ku Thyolo,mangochi Ndi Mzuzu PP Yawina Karonga AFORD Yawina Ku Zomba.DPP NDI UDF ALEPHERA KONSE.

  5. ohooo! says:

    Leave Mbendera alone and concentrate on wat is more important…….
    do yu think these stupid people yu have voted for, will bring any change in development?
    wake up Malawi!

  6. nophiya says:

    if more voters abscond from voting it means that unwanted candidate will go unopposed,Malawians lets learn from this by-elections, 2019 tikazajombanso kovota dont cry foul on MEC.

  7. Chimehe Nyirenda says:

    People have lost trust in MEC, why voting whilst you know that the result will be obvious? Once beaten twice shy, Malawians are no longer blind no wonder the poor turn up at various polling stations.

  8. Ability Lucious Power says:

    A Malawi achangamuka pano. Voting in Malawi is simply a legitimate way of giving “thieves” keys to our public coffers.
    As a matter of fact, the decision of re-electing councillors was not only naïve but also myopic. It was championed by the elite so that they continue exploiting Malawians.

  9. Zanga Phe Basi says:

    I used to deny the fact that educates fools are out there. The whole Mbendera seema not to know somw of the possible causes of voter apathy: There are severak reaaons of course but i will only give two strong ones:

    1. Ppo have no vote of confidence in MEC. Their say is not ususally respected. in simple terms MEF decides who shud win and whi shud lose.

    2. Campaign threats like no devt if u dont for DPP.

  10. kabotolokamo says:

    Interesting , Mbendela is asking , he should know better , his figures stink !

  11. Greencardless Malawian says:

    Achistilu a Mbendela inu, amakumvelani masiku ano ndani? Agalu ndi mbuzitu ndiye

  12. Chikopa says:

    Results are not defferant from last genenal election in mzuzu 1 was pp 2 mcp 3 dpp but lost in kalonga , olo akanakhala masankho akulu mcp inakwapulidwanso apa koma poti pakamwa sipasiya mbwiyache akufa

  13. Ndembera says:

    What if the research result is to indicate that people don’t want to vote because MEC is still under Mbendera, will he resign?

  14. Truth says:

    Please Mbendera or whatever you call yourself, leave Malawi alone, you think we have forgotten what you did last year? Good or bad, we Will never trust MEC under your leadership. Every problem we face is labeled your name. Repent Mbendera, repent!!!!! Thats what you should be doing as long as Your Peter is ruling.

  15. Free Advice says:

    I predicted this voter apathy in my study done prior to the elections, of course not from the centres of higher learning. The reason I got is that people were disenfranchised with the way the past tripartite elections were held. People expressed that their choices were not respected through what they called massive and systematic rigging. In fact majority (69%) of people interviewed in 15 districts of the country (3 in Northern, 6 in Central & 6 in Southern) showed that MEC is no longer trusted as a credible body to be leading the electoral processes, calling for big changes to be done at MEC to regain the confidence of Malawians. This trend will be expected to the next elections in 2019 if the changes at MEC are not done in good time. At least 62% expressed that they got anger with how the tripartite elections were held, an indication that anger is slowly building up among Malawians in as far as electoral processes are handled. I have more findings.

  16. Chigankhamule says:

    Bwana Mbendera are you sure people should waste money doing a research on voter apathy? Are you sure you don’t know the reason for voter apathy?

    What is causing voter apathy is what made you cry in May 2014. In your own words you said MEC applied to court for vote recount because of the anomalies and Seven commissioners signed the affidavit.
    If people have morals do you think the same commissioners would declare the results free and fair before the recount is done?

    Normal thinking citizens expected the commission to have isolated the results from all centers because without the recount the commission was not be able to determine the winner.

    What did you the so called learned man and your commissionners do, swallowed your vomit and declared the same results free and fair. Very sad, a bunch of unprincipled idiots. That is act in short is causing the voter apathy because voting is of no use since you can use your own ways to declare those that even stole elections winners.

    Examine your act first then you will be able to get the answers without wasting any money.

  17. Professor Kamangadazi Chambalo says:

    Mbendera is a dunderhead first class. Research yachani? Answer ya voter apathy ali iye Mbendera becauseof what he did last yr facilitating kubera zisankho. Kupereka dziko kuzigananga. Sacrificing miyoyo ya malawi to solve mbenderas and Nyirendas poverty. Mbendera unatiyika pamoto nde phindu lovota sitili kuli wona

  18. Kenkkk says:

    Voter apathy in local elections is a common feature throughout the world, not just malawi. I know in UK local elections attract between 29-40% of voters. Anything near 40% is considered good. So we shouldn’t make voter apathy in local elections as a big issue.

    The low turnout is therefore nothing to get worried about, the important thing is that a democratic process deemed or seemed to have been done and people can’t complain about the results. It is better than not having the elections at all.

    I would recommend that the constituency development fund be transferred from MPs to local councils so that councillors can have control of the development in the districts.

  19. Nyatwa says:

    No need for research, Mbendera you are the cause of voter apathy.

  20. Pete Nyandoro says:

    Mr. Mbendera there is no need to ask colleges to research on voter apathy. It should be MEC’s responsibility to hire researchers to carry out this task. Universities/Colleges have their own research interests and should not be disrupted. You are trying to run away from the financial obligation to pay the research team – there are many social scientists (Sociologists and Development professionals) who can do this job, but you need to pay them and do not expect free information from colleges. In fact MEC should have M&E department that apart from monitoring and evaluating MEC’s activities, their job description should include conducting research on election matters. This is what Kalonga as CEO of MEC should be proposing in order to take the organisation to the higher level as a way of being proactive, not reactive as you have done. You should have anticipated this other than taking Malawians for granted and your organisation strategy paper must have been clearly spelt out these issues. If you don’t have a strategy, please get one written by the professionals that you should pay.

  21. Jelbin mk says:

    Mbendera the one who has created vote apathy is your incredibility and the commission as a whole people feel that there is no need to vote if their votes are not counted. They feel you choose candidates for them Mr Mbendera as was the case with the 2014 tripartite elections where you imposed Peter on Malawians of whom they didn’t vote for so don’t waste time on questioning what is plain and clear and don’t research something that is obvious. Can you conduct a research on where sugar is being manufactured while everyone knows it is being manufactured by Illovo in Dwangwa. Mr Mbendera you are a liability to our democracy the most honourable thing you can do is to resign because we people have lost confidence in you and your commission in its entirety.

  22. Patriot says:

    You yourself are a contributing factor to voter apathy.
    We remember how you cheated us the day you cried while declaring this incompetent lomwe president as president of Malawi instead of Lazarous Chakwera the rightful winner.
    Have seen the results in Zomba, Karonga and even Luchenza. Dpp has won there yes but with a small difference.
    Ife tikudikira 2019 or earlier if God rescues us to kick out this lomwe president for lomwe people out.

  23. obwande says:

    People could not turn up because they new Mbendera is already for government.why bother yourself while you know somebody is already there to manipulate the votes.

  24. Achimidzimidzi says:

    As long Maxon Mbendera, Willy Kalonga and Nancy Tembo are still at MEC, it will never work. These are not the right people to be at MEC, because they normally accept tally sheets which have errors and declare winners based on wrong results.

    What is their problem?

  25. Mbwiye says:


  26. Masharubu says:

    Why is this man, Mbendera, still chairing MEC? This is a classic example of not caring about the feelings of the majority of Malawians . Please chonde , aMalawi musaatengele kuntoso . Tsiku lina, dziko lino lidzayaka moto if we continue to disregard certain sensitivities on the part of the masses .

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