Voters in Mulanje have expressed excitement by the innovative approaches in the civic and voter education campaign initiatives being used by the Center for Development Communications (CDC) as part of the voter education excise for the fifth phase of the voter registration excise which started on September 2, in Neno, Phalombe, Luchenza Municipality, Thyolo and Mulanje district.
The excited voters have since said that the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) should engage more Orgnisations in the Audio Visual civic and voter education campaign excise.
According to interviews that we carried with participants at the screenings of the Tikavote civic and voter education movie which is part of the joint MEC and CDC Community Cinema and Dialogue initiative in the mass civic and voter awareness program for the ongoing voter registration excise indicate that the use of cinema in the voter sensitization excise is having a positive impact on the voter’s willingness to register in the next year’s elections.
“Most of the young people had been saying that they will not go to register because of the long hours one takes at a voter registration center, but after watching this movie, many youths are having a positive attitude about voting and participating in the voter registration excise,” said John Lino of Kandulo village in Traditional Authority Juma.
Similar sentiments were made by Innocent Botomani an Area Civic Education Coordinator with the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust at Namphungo Ward in Mulanje West Constituency who said that the use of Cinema in the voter civic sensitization excise had proven to be an effective approach in wooing legible voters to register in the ongoing voter registration excise.
“We have been an intensive civic and voter education campaign within our ward, but some legible voters were shying from the civic education excises, however these cinemas have proven to be an effective means of attracting more people to the voter sensitization campaigns,” said Botomani.
MEC Constituency Civic and Voter Education Assistant (CCVEA) at Mulanje West Constituency Henz Herald Phiri said the free movie screenings were giving legible voters that were shying away from the civic and voter education meetings that the MEC CCVEAs and the NICE ACECs were conducting a last nail.
“We have been explaining about how the voter registration is to be conducted, however the movies are giving the voters a true picture of how the voter registration is to actually be conducted,” said Phiri.
Gabriel Tengani, District Facilitator at the Centre for Development Communications (CDC) the MEC funded Tikavote film has attracted people who were not interested to register as voters to go and register as voters.
“We have noted through the comments and questions that we receive at the screening sessions of the movie that people are excited to go for voter registration as CDC we believe that free and fair elections can be achieved if the electoralates are adequately sensitized on all the electoral process,” said Tengani.