The United Nations (UN) offices in Lilongwe have swiftly reacted to reports that some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) accredited by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to conduct voter and civic education for next year’s elections remain unfunded due to their lack of financial accountability of funding from development partners in the previous polls.
The UN said it did not give any funding to CSOs to conduct voter civic education for 2014 Tripartite Elections.
UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Maria Jose Torres said: “During the 2014 Tripartite Elections, UNDP did not fund any CSOs to do voter civic education. Therefore, the UN cannot validate allegations that 75 percent of CSOs have failed to account for 2014 elections funding from the UN.”
Torres said for the 2019 Tripartite Elections, the UNDP electoral support basket fund project, financed by the EU, DFID UK, Ireland and UNDP itself, supported the accreditation process of the CSOs wishing to partner with MEC on providing voter education for the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
“It has also supported the establishment of the new MEC Voter Education Strategy and is financing the production of visual and audio materials that will be used by MEC and by the CSO partners working on voter education.
“No funds were foreseen this time around for the actual funding of CSOs from the basket fund due to the rationalization of available resources,” the UN envoy added in a statement made available to Nyasa Times.
During the 2014 elections, most CSOs got their funding for vter and civic education through the US-funded National Democrtaic Institute (NDI) which wound up its operation sin the country last year.
MEC has accredited 117 CSOs to conduct civic and voter education activities ahead of next year’s elections.