The third phase of voter registration kicked off Sunday morning with the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) expressing optimism that the exercise will go on smoothly.
The phase, which is expected to run from August 25 to 2 September 7, 2013 will cover all the constituencies in Mulanje, Luchenza Municipality, Phalombe South, Phalombe East and Phalombe North East constituencies and all constituencies in Thyolo except Thyolo North which was covered in second phase.
One of MEC Commissioners Rev Chimkwita Phiri said the exercise had so far started on a high note and the commission was hopeful that everything will finish excellently.
“Almost all the problems which we had in the first and second phase have been taken care of. Issues such as materials which we procured from abroad have now arrived so we should believe that everything will go on smoothly,” he said.
Rev Chimkwita Phiri also said quality control managers and camera operators had now gathered momentum, a development that gives the body an assurance of smooth operations.
However, the commissioner said the body was still waiting for some additional equipment like printers which should be in place by the time they start phase five.
“And by then we will also have increased the teams in the field. Right now we have about 464 teams but we should be able to expand the teams to 650,” he said.
Meanwhile, the commissioner said MEC had finally considered people of Chitipa to register in good time to avoid disturbances once rains start.
The initial dates MEC set would have collided with rainy season during which time many areas in the district are rendered impassable for vehicles.
Rev Chimkwita Phiri said MEC will now conduct the exercise in the district soon after the third phase in Southern Region is concluded.