Various civil rights activists are expressing outrage at the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) decision to end the voter registration exercise on Monday, saying in Dedza just a handful 160, 000 people have registered out of the projected 400,000.
Civic education managers, Nice executive director Ollen Mwalubunju said the reason why people are staying away from registering could be that elected politicians have disappointed them.
“People are disappointed with the elected leaders from the president to the member of Parliament. They do not see the reason of voting for the elected leaders when they cannot perform,” said Mwalubunju.
He also said although his organisation did massive civic education, most people seem not to know that the national identity card could not be allowed during the voting exercise but they had to register.
This view has been shared by the secretary general of the main opposition, the Malawi Congress Party Eisenhower Mkaka.
“People seem not to understand why they should register when they have the national IDs,”‘ said Mkaka.
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace projects officer for Kasungu Hastings Kalimwa said this perception and notion that the IDs would be used during voting contributed much to voter registration apathy in Kasungu.
MEC chairperson Jane Ansah said the commission met traditional leaders to sensitize them that the IDs would not be used for voting unless they registered.
She said the commission expected the traditional leaders to sensitize their subjects in turn.