NICE, Malawi Police, media sign MOUs for election coverage

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has said any electoral process devoid of the involvement of media and the security sector is a non-starter and disastrous.

MEC Regional Officer for the north Davison Mapwete said the media through errors and commissions can create chaos and render the elections incredible and unfair.

“Please refrain from that in the next three months. Let’s bring peace so that people vote peacefully,” he said.

Nyika Media Club Chiarperson Chimbizga Msimuko
Nyika Media Club Chiarperson Chimbizga Msimuko

Mapwete said this during the signing ceremony of memorandum of understandings (MOUs) between the National Initiative for Civic Education Trust (NICE) and the Malawi Police Service.

And also between NICE and the Mzuzu based Nyika Media Club at a function held at NICE regional Offices in Mzuzu on Monday.

“These MOUs should translate into action and the media must spots electoral malpractices, schemes, bribes and niceties that may jeopardise the electoral process,” Mapwete said.

NICE northern Region Civic Education Manager Enoch Chinkhuntha hailed the media for doing a good job so far saying he is optimistic that the trend will continue.

Chinkhuntha said NICE will work with Nyika Media Club to attempt to bridge the gap between the electorates and candidates.

“We will hold outreach clinics and debates in remote areas where we hope the media will pick issues directly from the electorate and publicise them to the country,” he said.

On the Police, Chinkhuntha said NICE will work to bring the Cops closer to the communities.

“People have misunderstood the role of the Police or the security sector in the electoral process and many times this has been cause for conflicts. We would also want the candidates to know their parameters in the campaigns and also the implications of breaking the electoral laws,” he said.

Northern Region Commissioner of Police Paul Kanyama said it is high time the Malawi Police Service exit its traditional roles and engage with the populace.

“We need to engage with the people so that they understand us,” Kanyama said.

The Police Boss then urged his charges to remain apolitical saying that way they will reach to all political parties and work professionally.

Nyika Media Club Chairperson Chimbizga Msimuko said the media is committed to the MOU and will play its part in helping to create a social order where individual rights are respected as such.

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