The voter verification process has stared in eight of the nine Central Region district except Lilongwe rather on a very low turnout of people on its first day Monday.
Registered voters are expected to go to centres where they registered to verify that their names appear un the voters’ roll and that come May 21 2019, they will be able to exercuuse their democratic right to elect leaders of their choice.
In Ntchisi, by the closing of the centres at 4 o’clock in the evening most centres had less than 30 people who went to verify their names on voters roll.
One of the people who earlier registered during voters registration exercise, Joseph Kalema argued saying he doesn’t see a point for him to go for verification.
“Since the registration went digital I thought it would ease such pressure, I don’t understand the essence of going for verification when we were using National Identities to register,” said Kalema.
However, the supervisor at Ntchisi Primary School Hellix J Solomon was of the view that the low turnout is due to the fact that this is planting season and most of the people were busy in their fields.
He also cited out that first days are always hard for people to come out in large numbers.
“I believe as the days goes by people will start coming in their large numbers and we can’t say the turn out is too bad considering the fact that it’s the first day of the exercise,”
Concurring with Solomon was Civic Education Officer for National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE), Bester Chikafutwa saying that the rains in the district is a contributing factor to a low turnout.
Chikafutwa also cited lack of civic education as another reason that has caused the low turnout as their office had no funding.
“We had no funding for the exercise, the funding has just come in today so we couldn’t have sensitisation meetings otherwise in some places we have gone we’ve noticed that some people are not aware of the exercise,” he said.
He however, argued the sentiments by some sectors of the society that verication exercise is just a waste of time saying, it is so important for one to go for verification as it helps to clean voters roll.
“Verification process is one of the the electoral cycle and it is so important as it helps to know if your name is there and for the commission to know those who are transferring from one centre to another as well as the deceased,” said Chikafutwa.
Chikafutwa was however, uncertain of improvement in the turnout citing the lack of civic education and the rains which has kept people busy.
The exercise is in 4 phases and is the first phase is comprised of 7 districts namely; Kasungu district and municipality, Nkhotakota, Dowa, Salima, Mchinji, Dedza and Ntchisi.
All the phases will be running for 5 days and the first phase is expected to finish on Friday, December 14.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :