Voters’ verification encounters hitches in Lilongwe, Dedza

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) continues facing logistical hitches with just 20 days to go before Malawians vote in the first ever tripartite elections.

The latest hiccup is failure to open on the first day several registration centers in Lilongwe and Dedza for voters to verify their particulars.

The third and last voters’ roll verification exercise begun Thursday, May 1 and will close on Tuesday, May 5. The phase covers Ntcheu, Dedza, Lilongwe City, Lilongwe District, Mchinji, Dowa, Ntchisi, Kasungu Municipality and Kasungu councils.

Kalonga:  Hitches

Kalonga: Hitches

However, several centers in Lilongwe and Dedza failed to open on Thursday in what the commission only said was due to logistical reasons and were working on the challenges.

Chief Elections Officer, Willie Kalonga, said in a statement the centers would instead be opened on Friday, May 2.

“The centres that have failed to open on first day will have an extension of one day. They will close on May 6, 2014. This will also apply to any other centre that may fail to open for a full day during the exercise,” said Kalonga.

Since the commission opened the voters’ roll exercise, it have encountered many challenges which resulted in postponing the whole process barely 24 hours after opening.

The commission is currently facing another serious problem of vehicle shortage to be used for various errands ahead of the polls.

Nation on Sunday reported that MEC had planned to have not less than 500 vehicles but as of this week, it had only managed to acquire 100 roadworthy vehicles.

The development has resulted in elections’ teams carrying voters roll in various areas on foot or bicycles.

Meanwhile, the commission is persuading voters to be verifying their details through the SMS and the web platforms by sending an SMS of their voter certificate number to 58683 or visiting www.mec.org.mw.

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