Pan African Civic Educators Network (PACENET) has emphasised the need for Non-Governmental Organizations which were mandated to provide voter and civic education and stakeholders to popularize the law on handouts if they are to help women occupy political seats.
PACENET Executive Director Steve Duwa made the call at Chamba Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Bwananyambi in Mangochi district when drumming up support for the area’s (Mangochi South) incumbent Member of Parliament (MP), Lilian Patel ahead of May 21 elections.
“First and foremost, let’s applaud Parliament for passing this political party bill which prohibits handouts during election period. This will give chance to contestants who are cash-strapped but development conscious to compete favorably with their rich counterparts,” Duwa said.
He observed that the absence of the law has deprived of capable people especially women to assume political office, hence the need for NGOs and stakeholders to acquaint the electorate with the law so that they have an informed decision.
“Let’s take these messages everywhere especially to the rural areas of this country where the electorate don’t know about this law to avoid putting wrong people in positions whose formula in winning elections is dwelt on dishing out money to the electorate,” advised Duwa.
He, however, asked the communities to choose incumbent Patel in the forthcoming elections in order to continue developing the area rather than being carried by men who give handouts to increase their momentum though not development conscious.
Duwa, therefore, called upon chiefs and the youth to take heed of the law and refrain from demanding money from the aspirants for the vice to be eliminated and pave way people to choose leaders who are visionary.
In her remarks, Patel commended Pacenet for marketing her to the electorate, saying this will help her win the elections and continue transforming the area.
With financial support from UN Women, Pacenet is implementing the project that seeks to create opportunities for increased women participation and representation in the electoral processes for the 2019 elections in Malawi.