As the first phase of voter registration exercise was marred with controversy due to low turnout, the case seem to be different in Ntchisi district which is in the second phase of the exercise.
On the first day of the registration most of the centers in the district were opened by 8 O’clock in the morning and by 12 O’clock in the afternoon over 100 people were registered at almost every center.
According to the political party monitors found in different centers, more people were expected to register in the afternoon as most of them did not know how fast the registration process is.
In Ntchisi North constituency, Chipwapwata is the only center which started in a very low note as only 7 people were registered by 12 noon.
However, the low turnout at this center was attributed to the funeral that happened in the area.
Technical challenges which were faced were sorted out in due course by the electoral commission.
Some of the challenges which were faced in the morning was failure of solar panels to perform effectively due to bad weather in some parts of the district and generators were sent as backup.
In other cases, National Registration Beaural (NRB) equipments were not working and the technicians were deployed to look on the issue.
However some centers people without national ID’s were already sent back home when the technicians arrived, they were however given registration forms to take home and return the following day
Earlier on, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commisioner, Mary Nkosi expressed optimism that the second phase of voter registration exercise will see many people registering.
Nkosi disclosed that districts in the second phase had enough time in civic education and most of the people are aware of the exercise.
“As I was going around in the constituencies where we had civic education meetings with chiefs, we noted that many people are aware of the registration exercise which gives us hope that many people will take part to register,” said the commissioner.
Commenting on the same, Ntchisi NICE Trust Civic Education Officer, Beston Chikafutwa expressed satisfaction with the way people registered on the first day of the registration exercise.
“Most of the centers we went with our officers for monitoring, we noticed that many people were registering,” said Chikafutwa.
He agrees with Mec commissioner that there was enough civic education in the district and that there is hope that many people will take part to register.
“We went around the whole district with civic education. We had meetings with the students, chiefs and political party leaders and we are still going around with the message of the registration,” added Chikafutwa.
The second phase of voter registration exercise started yesterday, 13th July 2018 in Ntchisi, Nkhotakota, Dowa and Mchinji and is expected to finish on 26th July.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :