As inspection of voters roll begins today, logistical challenges have forced the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to delay the opening of centres in seven districts.
The affected districts include Ntcheu, Mzimba, Mzuzu City, Nkhata Bay, Salima, Kasungu and Dedza.
MEC Chief Elections Officer, Willie Kalonga, said in a statement, they experienced challenges in cashing cheques issued by the Accountant General because the Reserve Bank had delayed in clearing them.
Kalonga also blamed the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) and the district councils for failing to mobilize enough vehicles for the deployment of staff which created transport problems.
“In some centres the voters roll was delivered late which also delayed opening of centres,” said Kalonga.
However, the commission says it has planned that the centres that have been delayed or failed to open due to the challenges will have an automatic extension to the verification period equivalent to the days they will be non-operational.
MEC is also assuring all electoral stakeholders that it has put in place all measures for the smooth running of the inspection of voters’ roll.
The commission has trained people who will be involved in the exercise whose first phase runs from today Monday to Friday. The second phase will run from 1st to 5th April, 2014.
“The commission is encouraging all registered voters to inspect how their names are appearing in the voters roll. If there will be any name missing in the voters roll, the registration staff will process registration for that person if they have a valid voter certificate,” says the statement.
Meanwhile, Nyasa Times spot checks in most centers in Blantyre city and other parts of the country show that the exercise has started on a low note.