Opposition parties have raised fears that the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) which suffers credibility issues is” plotting to facilitate rigging of through the national identification card as a prerequisite for one to be eligible to vote in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
MEC announced that the ID will be used as a prerequisite for one to be eligible to vote in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
But opposition representative at the National Elections Consultative Forum (Necof) in Lilongwe on Monday accused the electoral body of “systematically” plotting to rig the vote in favour of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) with problems bedevilling the registration exercise and disenfranchising voters from registering .
“Where were you when the National Registration Bureau (NRB) was launching the programme,” Richard Chimwendo-Banda the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) MP for Dowa East queried MEC.
“We are very sure you have planned to rig elections,” he said.
Chimwendo-Banda said MEC should its own means of registering voters.
“Don’t interfere with the national ID registration exercise,” said Chimwendo-Banda.
The MCP legislature warned the electoral body that his party will “this time” be vigilant against rigging the elections “and get away with it.”
Currently the registration is being conducted in central region districts of Mchinji, Ntchisi, Dowa, Kasungu, Nkhotakota and Salima.
Peoples’s Party secretary general Ibrahim Matola said Muslim women were facing challenges in registering in Salima.
MEC chairperson Justice Jane Ansah defended the commission, saying it was not coming too late in the exercise.
“We have been there from the beginning. Some of our staff has been seconded to NRB,” she said.
Ansah claimed the national ID registration process is going on smoothly, contrary to what is on the ground where there are concerns of poor public awareness, planning and faulty equipment.
From the experience in districts where registration has already taken place, not many people have been turning up for the exercise for various reasons including the fact that there has not been aggressive sensitisation and that people are busy with harvesting and winter cropping.
Ansah admitted that the sensitisation has not been aggressive resulting in few people turning up for the exercise.
The project has been funded by the Malawi Government and development partners to the tune of $49 694 000 (about K36.5 billion). Currently, over 100 000 people have been recorded to have been registered with the registration process expected to end in December.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :