Thyolo MPs ask Malawi Electoral Commission to consider changing constituency names: Thekerani and Masambanjati

Two Members of Parliament (MP) from Thyolo have asked the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to consider changing the names of their constituencies.

Chiyembekeza: My constituency should be Thyolo Masambanjati

Dr Allan Chiyembekeza who represents Thyolo South West requested that the name of his constituency becomes Thyolo -Masambanjati whilst McJay Salijeni of Thyolo South wants his constituency to be known as Thyolo-Thekerani.

The two legislators made the request when MEC Commissioners met Thyolo stakeholders in the electoral process in order to get their views on ward and constituency demarcations recently.

Chiyembekeza said apart from the population size and the boundaries, the name of a constituency also had a very huge bearing and impact in as far as elections were concerned.

“The constituents of Thyolo South West are therefore pleading with MECto consider changing the name to Thyolo Masambanjati. The name Masambanjati is more popular than the current name which I guess was given due to its geographical positioning. The vernacular word is better for our constituency,” he said.

Chiyembekeza added that it is difficult for people to figure out where Thyolo South West is unlike the case Thyolo Thava which is easily identified because it is named by the place it is located.

Additionally, Salijeni said his constituency is not popular because of the name hence the plea to MEC to consider changing the name to Thekerani.

“Thekerani is a household name which is very much popular. The word Thekerani is already connected to a number of things and because of that we would like to be known by that name and not the current one,” he said.

On a different note, Salijeni asked MEC to share a certain part of his constituency toThyolo South West because his constituency was vast.

“Thyolo South is the biggest constituency in the district. It is however difficult to monitor (in terms of developmental projects) because of its terrain which mostly is impassable. A certain part which is closer to Thyolo South West could be given to my fellow MP,” Salijeni said.

Traditional Authority (TA) Khwethemule suggested the need for Nkumba Village which is in his area to be shifted from Thava to South West because it located in two Group Village Headmen of Kuweruza and Mangwalala.

“Shifting Nkumba Village on the electoral boundary will be a good idea because for a long time the people of Nkumba have been denied of developmental projects because Kuweruza is in Thyolo South West whilstMangwalala is in ThyoloThava constituencies,” he said.

MP for Thyolo Thava Mary Thom Navicha said considering the fact that the people from Nkumba Village were casting their votes in Thyolo South West, there was a great need for their village to be given to South West Constituency since this would be one way of exposing them to developmental projects.

Chairperson for MEC Dr.Jane Ansah, Senior Counsel (SC) said her office had taken note of the issues and concerns raised and promised to look into them with all seriousness.

“We have taken note of everything. After these consultations, the demarcation committee will come to verify the boundaries. The recommendations will then be submitted to parliament which will finally deliberate on them,” she said.

Dr. Ansah said MEC will conduct the ward and constituency demarcation exercise in the year 2020 using the 2018 population census.

Thyolo District has 7 constituencies and 14 wards.

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