Voter transfer and certificate replacement exercise the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) was undertaking in Mangochi from 23-27 May 2020 has exposed that people in the district do not follow events including the electoral calendar leading to the court sanctioned fresh presidential election.
This came to light on Tuesday in the district when the National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust was monitoring progress of the exercise.
During the visits to the centres in Traditional Authorities (T/As) Chimwala, Jalasi, Chilipa and Mponda Nice found out thatpeople, instead of going to the centres to make transfers and replace their lost voter certificates, they were going there to verify their names.
In an interview, the district’s civic education officer, Turner Banda described the situation as worrisome as it has a potential of discouraging voters to patronise the same centres again during the voter verification exercise which is expected to take place on 10-11 June, 2020.
He blamed people’s lack of interest to follow what is happening in their areas, saying before starting the exercise his organisation, MEC and other stakeholders moved around the district where they dispatched the correct information about the exercise.
To this effect, Banda advised people to start developing a strong interest of following events happening in their areas including electoral issues which he said is crucial to the development of the country.
“At a time when all channels of communication have been opened, please don’t close your ears. Instead, develop an interest of knowing what is happening in your area,” he tutored
He, however, advised MEC against accommodating people who want to verify their names during voter transfers and certificate replacement exercise, claiming that during the exercise while they were sending back voters, he saw some other MEC staff helping people to verify their names.
One of the voters, Halima Hussein from T/A Chimwala said more people are failing to distinguish between voter transfer and certificate replacement exercise to that of voter verification exercise, asking MEC and stakeholders to intensify their civic-education to facilitate credible elections.
MEC was conducting the exercise in the district alongside Kasungu, Chiradzulu, Nkhata-Bay, Machinga and Nkhota-Kota.
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