National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) in Malawi’s northern district of Karonga has distributed eight bicycles to Area Civic Education Coordinators in all constituencies as a response to a change of registration dates by Malawi Election Commission (MEC) in the district.
Speaking at a meeting of Area Civic Education Coordinators on Thursday, Assistant District Civic Education Officer Table Gondwe said as an accredited organization, NICE wants to make sure that the information on registration reaches out to everyone in the district.
“As we have just been communicated recently that MEC has shifted backwards the registration dates following people’s concerns, we thought it wise that we have to distribute these bicycles so that everyone should be reached by the time new dates will be announced,” said Gondwe.
He added that it is unfortunate that most of the accredited organizations in the district are not doing their voter and civic education which is giving them tough time.
“We really have lot of work to do now to reach almost everyone because as it is now many accredited organizations are not doing the job so we are doing our best so that we should not deny people their right to vote for a candidate of their choice, “said Gondwe.
Responding to MEC statement which says MEC is yet to change the Karonga date for registration Gondwe said, “we don’t know about the press release you are talking about but all we know is that on Tuesday we received communication for MEC that the next phase that is the fifth phase will be in Karonga and for us we just followed that and do our work.”
MEC’s Clerk in the district, Hastings Manda who told the media of the change said he is not aware of the statement , saying they have been told that the dates have been changed and to them is just to communicate to people on the change.
“The fact is that the dates have been changed and I am also surprised on what is happenig because I received a call from above saying I am not responsible to speak for MEC,” said Manda.
Area Civic Education Coordinator for Karonga Central Christopher Sambo hailed NICE for the bicycles.
“We really thank NICE people for what they have done, now our work will be easy as time is near and we have confidence that every one will know of the change and they will register in large number,” said Sambo.