The strengthening of democratic governance, domestic accountability and access to justice especially for women, girls and other vulnerable groups like people with albinism are crucial for sustainable development.
EU Ambassador to Malawi, Marchel Gerrmann said this when the European Union handed over a donation of four 4×4 vehicles and eleven motorcycles procured with funding from the 11th European Development Fund through the Chilungamo Programme to NICE Public Trust.
Gerrmann said as EU they value and continue to support NICE Public Trust owing to the role it plays in empowering citizens to demand transparency and accountability from duty bearers which is crucial for the promotion of domestic accountability.
NICE Public Trust has been accredited by the Malawi Electoral Commission to provide voter education to the electorate across the country ahead of the forthcoming tripartite elections in 2019.
The EU Ambassador said it was for this reason that they recognize that for NICE to accomplish all the tasks, the support of other development partners is crucially needed.
“With a network of over 8 000 volunteers and a reach to millions of Malawians in all the districts, NICE is uniquely placed to impart knowledge on the voting procedures and more importantly empower citizens to claim and their rights,” he said.
Speaking when receiving the donation, Board Chair for NICE Public Trust, Susan Kaunda said as a Public Trust they value the financial, technical and material assistance they get from EU ever since NICE started as a project in 1999.
“This donation has come at the right time when we are busy empowering and mobilizing the public through civic education. It is no doubt that the vehicles and the motorcycles will ease the challenges we have in reaching to the grassroots,” said Kaunda.
She said the support from EU has given them more vigour, strength and zeal to work harder and better in fulfilling their mandate of contributing towards democracy and good governance through civic and voter education.