Mbendera calls for ‘research’ on voter apathy in Malawi, declares ‘credible’ by-election results

Malawi  Electoral Commission (MEC) has declared the official results of the Tuesday local government by-election which has seen ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) winning three of the five contested seats.

Justice Mbendera :  There should be a research on the phenomenon of voter apathy
Justice Mbendera : There should be a research on the phenomenon of voter apathy

Announcing the results, MEC chairperson Justice Maxon Raphael Mbendera said theelectoral body is “impressed” that this election had “all the required components of transparency, inclusiveness, freeness and fairness. “

He declared that the by- elections in all the five wards were “ free, fair and credible.”

Mbendera announced the results as follows:-

Khwawa Ward in Karonga had six candidates. With a total of 11,076 registered voters, 3,648 registered voters turned out. This represents 32.94 % voter turnout. There were 52 null and void votes. This represents 1.45 %. The results of the voting are as follows:

  1. Oswell Mdokera Chavula, Independent 45 votes
  2. Langfield Kanyimbo, People’s Party (PP) 1,107 votes
  3. Alick Tchokola Mhango, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 446 votes
  4. Bydon Katambika Msiska, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 1,378 votes
  5. John Chipapika Msiska, Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) 597 votes
  6. Hawkings Mtotomoka Munthali, United Democratic Front Party (UDF) 23 votes

Mbendera declared DPP’s Katambika Msiska as winner in the Khwawa Ward by-election.

In Mzuzu’s Chibanja Ward, he said six candidates contested . With a total of 6,137 registered voters, 1,248 voters turned out for polling representing 20.34% voter turnout. There were 6 null and void votes. This represents 0.48%. The results of the voting are as follows:

  1. Gibson Chisale, Alliance for Democracy Party (AFORD) 458 votes
  2. Esmey Jere, Umodzi Party (UP) 10 votes
  3. Ulaya Kaunda, Malawi Forum for Unity and Development Party (MAFUNDE) 5 votes
  4. George Manda, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 267 votes
  5. Charles Mlogera, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 486 votes
  6. Mike C. Phiri, Independent 16 votes

Mbendera declared Charles Mlogera of MCP as winner in the Chibanja Ward by-election.

In Mangochi Msikisi Ward, had six candidates. With a total of 2,891 registered voters, 1,045 registered voters turned out for polling. This represents36.15 % voter turnout.   There were 11 null and void votes.    This represents 1.05 %.

The results of the voting are as follows:

  1. 1. Fatima Chilawi, Independent 118 votes
  2. Rasha Chisoni, Malawi Forum for Unity and Development Party (MAFUNDE) 6 votes
  3. Frank Kambeta, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 64 votes
  4. Wellington Mangulenje, Independent 289 votes 8
  1. Idana Masiye, People’s Party (PP) 119 votes
  2. Oliver Tayub, United Democratic Front Party (UDF) 438 votes

Mbendera declared Oliver Tayub of UDF as winner in the Msikisi Ward by-election.

In Zomba Central Ward, 6,646 registered to voter, 892 registered voters turned out for polling. This represents 13.42% voter turnout. There were 6 null and void votes.This epresents 0.67 %.

The results of the voting are as follows:

  1. Munira Abdullah, Independent 240 votes
  2. Melia Likoswe Douglas, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 268 votes
  3. Harry John Mningwa, Malawi Forum for Unity and Development Party (MAFUNDE) 35 votes
  4. Wilknes Wilson Nakanga, Peoples Party (PP) 231 votes
  5. Prisca Golozera Unyolo, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 107 votes
  6. Ireless Wallani, Independent 5 votes

MEC chair declarec Douglas who contested as Democratic Progressive Party candidate as winner in the Zomba Central Ward by-election.

Luchenza Ward had five candidates with a total of 522 registered voters, 223 registered voters turned out for polling. This represents 42.72% voter turnout.  There were 3 null and void votes. This represents 1.35 %.

The results of the voting are as follows:

  1. Joseph Khoromana, Independent 40 votes
  2. Mercy Luwanda, Independent, 52 votes
  3. Dorothy Chibwana Mbayani, Peoples Party, (PP) 7 votes
  4. Henderson Alex Spoon, Democratic Progressive Party, (DPP) 96 votes
  5. James Namilonga Stenala, Malawi Congress Party, (MCP) 25 votes

MEC chair declared Henderson Alex Spoon of DPP as winner in the Luchenza Ward by-election.

Mbendera said the highest percentage voter turnout in the five wards was 42.72 registered in Luchenza Ward while the lowest was 13.42 percent in Zomba Central Ward. The average voter turnout was 25.87 percent.

“This is slightly lower than what was registered during the by-elections in two constituencies and five wards held on October 7, 201a . The highest turnout was 40.87 percent and the lowest being 12.12 percent. The average was 26.14 percent. This is not encouraging if compared to the turnout during the Tripartite Elections which was 70.7 percent,” said Mbendera.

Mbendera said the “phenomenon of voter apathy” is very worrisome.

MEC chair has since urged institutions of higher learning in the country to conduct a research on the causes of voter apathy in Malawi.

“As it is, we could be providing irrelevant civic education messages to the electorate and could be a waste of resources,” he said.

Some of the voters said it was a waste of time and resources to vote for councilors whose impact cannot be felt a year and some months after being ushered into office during the May 2914 elections.

Chief Elections Officer, Willie Kalonga said the body conducted serious and intensive civic and voter education programs for the by-elections and was surprised at the low turnout.

MEC chair has since urged all political parties and candidates to accept the outcome of the election as “the expression, reflection and representation of the will of the people.”

He encouraged any party or candidate wishing to challenge the election results to do so in accordance with the Laws of the Republic of Malawi.

“May the winners be gracious in victory and the losers note that it is a mark of fortitude to accept loss with quietness of spirit.     We commiserate with them while congratulating their victorious opponents,” he said.

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Ano mani
Ano mani
6 years ago

Malawians voted 4 dpp exactly 2014 elections we will have 2 face the consequences

6 years ago

Malawians voted 4 dpp exactly 2014 elections we will never learn we have 2 face the consequences

Thitherward 'wendo
Thitherward 'wendo
6 years ago

As Alice Walker said: ‘The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.’

Che Ngana
6 years ago

Ndinadziwa Kuti Ya Leroyi Atalembe Ndi Wina Nyondo Analemba Kale Yache Dzulo.Bwanji Tipange Chonchi Kuti Nkhani Ithe Kuti Nanu Muone Polilira Eti.Titere MCP Yawina Ku Thyolo,mangochi Ndi Mzuzu PP Yawina Karonga AFORD Yawina Ku Zomba.DPP NDI UDF ALEPHERA KONSE.

6 years ago

Leave Mbendera alone and concentrate on wat is more important…….
do yu think these stupid people yu have voted for, will bring any change in development?
wake up Malawi!

6 years ago

if more voters abscond from voting it means that unwanted candidate will go unopposed,Malawians lets learn from this by-elections, 2019 tikazajombanso kovota dont cry foul on MEC.

Chimehe Nyirenda
Chimehe Nyirenda
6 years ago

People have lost trust in MEC, why voting whilst you know that the result will be obvious? Once beaten twice shy, Malawians are no longer blind no wonder the poor turn up at various polling stations.

Ability Lucious Power
Ability Lucious Power
6 years ago

A Malawi achangamuka pano. Voting in Malawi is simply a legitimate way of giving “thieves” keys to our public coffers.
As a matter of fact, the decision of re-electing councillors was not only naïve but also myopic. It was championed by the elite so that they continue exploiting Malawians.

Zanga Phe Basi
Zanga Phe Basi
6 years ago

I used to deny the fact that educates fools are out there. The whole Mbendera seema not to know somw of the possible causes of voter apathy: There are severak reaaons of course but i will only give two strong ones:

1. Ppo have no vote of confidence in MEC. Their say is not ususally respected. in simple terms MEF decides who shud win and whi shud lose.

2. Campaign threats like no devt if u dont for DPP.

6 years ago

Interesting , Mbendela is asking , he should know better , his figures stink !

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