NICE trains disabled on electoral process

In its drive to woo more eligible voters to register and vote in the forthcoming tripartite elections the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) conducted training for the disabled on the electoral process in Lilongwe.

Assistant District Civic Education for Lilongwe Rita Kalanje told the participants that are just as good as their able bodied counterparts in that they enjoy the same rights as everybody.

She urged them to register in order to vote and reminded them on the importance of their right to elect leaders of their choice who meet their ballot

“I urge you to go and spread the message to others who were not able to come for this training. Encourage others on the importance of voting because bad leaders are chosen by people who don’t vote,” said Kalanje.

Kalanje also told them to stand as candidates provided they meet the set criteria by electoral law.

Amidu Banda from Mitundu said they face a lot of challenges during registration and voting because they are other people who don’t help irrespective of their status.

“During the last general election I stood on the line just like everybody else. Monitors were not helpful and I nearly gave up but my brother encouraged me not to give up. I had gone there as early as six o’clock but I managed to cast my vote at around eleven,” said Banda.

Alick Chidya from Nsalu also said most people take people with disability as worthless and does not accommodate the disabled during registration or voting.

“They are some people who feel they have more important things to do in that they don’t give us preferential treatment despite our limitations as human beings,” said Chidya.

However, the Malawi Electoral Commission has a deliberate policy which gives the disabled, pregnant women and people with some problems to be given preferential treatment during these processes.

Participants were drawn from five constituencies of Lilongwe South, South West, Mapuyu both North and South and Kumachenga.

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