Malawi poll clerks schooled on etiquette: ‘Be sober and presentable’

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has urged its District Elections Clerks to be of sober habits and presentable at all times saying booze binging reflects badly not only on them but also on the Commission.

Justice Mbendera gave the advise during the opening of an orientation workshop for new District Elections Clerks at Sunbird Lilongwe Hotel on Thursday.

“Dress in a manner to reflect how you want to be addressed. Never be shabby. Being an election year various stakeholders will always be coming to your offices.

“Some of will be high-level delegates. The first impression they have about you will be influenced by how you are dressed. Therefore, you should always be within the bounds of decency” MEC Chairperson Justice Maxon Mbendera, SC has said.

Justice Mbendera advises the clerks
Justice Mbendera advises the clerks

He said the success of the elections largely depends on the impartiality and effectiveness the District Elections Clerks.

“Stakeholders and the whole nation will talk of free, fair and credible elections if you discharge your duties in line with the electoral laws,” he said.

District Elections Clerks are the only MEC permanent staff in all the Councils in Malawi and among other things are tasked with keeping electoral records, operating elections office at council level, compiling electoral related statistics, keeping electoral data, assisting in demarcation exercises for the council, assisting in the recruitment of registration and polling staff.

“Being MEC representative at the district level you are called upon to discharge your duties with utmost impartiality. You should be an authority at district level as far as elections are concerned,” Mbendera said.

He also reminded the Clerks that MEC is an apolitical institution.

“Therefore, you should not take political sides.  But treat all stakeholders in a fair manner without fear or favour,” Mbendera said.

Justice Mbendera also urged the Clerks to control their sexual behaviour.

“Let me remind you that Aids is real and it kills. Those of you who have families be faithful to your partners.  Those who do not have families I say you should abstain or protect yourselves,” he said. –MEC Stringer

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