The Mzuzu City Council has asked political parties in the city to collaboratively conduct voter civic education activities in a bid to attain a large turn up of the eligible electorate in phase eight of the voter registration exercise.
Phase eight of the Malawi Electoral Commission-led Biometric Voter Registration exercise is slated to run from October 27 to November 9, 2018 in Mzuzu, NkhataBay, Chitipa, Karonga and Rumphi Districts.
Dr Macloud Kadam’manja Chief Executive Officer of the Mzuzu City Council said this is an interview on Monday.
“We want to tell political parties that they have a duty to sensitize the masses so that many eligible voters should turn out and vote in the coming voter registration exercise and to urge them to work as a team in sensitizing the people of Mzuzu .
“We have lined up several activities. We met with the electoral stakeholders. We started with the District Elections Supervisory Team and the Multi-Party Liaison Committee to brief them on the electoral calendar and to see how we could reduce the conflicts and other challenges that we faced in 2014 and to see how we could handle the issues that are arising now,” said Dr Kadam’manja.
The calls from the Mzuzu City CEO are following challenges that marred the voter registration and other electoral process in the run up to the 2014 Tripartite Elections.
And NICE Trust District Civic Education Officer for Mzuzu and Mzimba North Wisdom Zunguzungu Nyirenda has assured electoral stakeholders that NICE would take a lead role in ensuring that political parties in Mzuzu conduct their voter civic education and other electoral activities in united and peaceful manner.
“NICE will be in the fore front to ensure that we are all working as a District, to ensure that no one is left behind. We are looking at a number of elements in working with different stakeholders, we are looking at conflicts. Conflicts come because everyone is working independently but when they are working in a collaborative manner, the tension is always avoided and the friction between parties is always resolved before they start.
“Our goal is to make sure that each party wishing to field candidates for the 2019 Tripartite Elections is engaged and we provide them with all the training that they need in the electoral processes,” Nyirenda said.
He added that NICE is currently conducting a series of trainings targeting civic education volunteers and that soon the Trust will train MEC voter civic education officers and MEC Stringers in Mzimba North and Mzuzu City.
Meanwhile, phase one of the voter registration exercise which covered Kasungu District, Kasungu Municipality, Salima and Dedza Districts ended on July 9 with an assurance from MEC that the Electoral Body is addressing views that there could have been a low registration turn up in these Districts as compared to the 2014 voter registration.
According to MEC, this year’s voter registration exercise is expected to register more than 9 million eligible voters during the eight phases of the Biometric Voter Registration exercise as compared to the 2013 voter registration exercise where only 7.5 million voters were registered through the old registration system.