Traditional leaders in Dedza district have warned their subjects who are neglecting the ongoing voter registration exercise that they will pay fines, describing the development as worrisome as it is wasting government resources.
Speaking in an interview, traditional authority Chilikumwendo condemned people who are defying the exercise saying as citizens of Malawi they need to take part in issues pertaining to the development of the country.
“As in my case I will make sure that every individual who is at the voting age is participating in this ongoing exercise because this will enable them to vote in the 2019 polls. The country will not develop if people remain like this, everyone has a right to make a decision but this should not affect issues that are to do with development,” said Chilikumwendo.
Traditional Chilikumwendo added that nowadays people are being irresponsible due to several misconception about human rights.
“The sensitisations were enough, people are aware of what is happening on the ground but they chose not to register saying they have got rights. The issue is Malawians are used to flocking to donations not activities that will transform their livelihoods,” he added.
He then revealed the plans to conduct a door to door inspection after the exercise in Dedza to ensure that those who did not register should go to the next registration centers of the neighboring districts.
Chilikumwendo further said, the people will be ordered to pay a fine of a goat as an alarm for them to be responsible in development activities.
Commenting on the development, district commissioner for Dedza Ellis Tembo said as a council they engaged traditional leaders to assist in boosting morale regarding the exercise.
Tembo said chiefs have got their own tactics in making sure that people are responding positively to developmental issues.
“I am aware that chiefs are assisting in this registration exercise, and those are just measures they use. They are the ones who knows how to manage their subjects and am sure they do not necessarily mean to punish their subjects, ” said Tembo.
He however agreed with Chilikumwendo that this is a worrisome development to learn that people are shunning away from the exercise due to their personal grounds.
The development comes in amid persistent low turnout of people in registration centers in some parts of Dedza district pausing fears of low voters come 2019.