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Ensure peaceful environment for smooth voter registration exercise

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By Ayamba Kandodo, Mec Stringer:

A cross section of leaders listen attentively during the workshop

Centre for Social Concern (CfSC), a faith-based organisation, has advised political party leaders, religious leaders, chiefs, civil society organisations (CSOs) and stakeholders in Mangochi to ensure that there is peace throughout voter registration to facilitate credible and successful exercise.

Phase six of voter registrations which started on September 19 and is expected to end on October 2 2018, is currently underway in the lakeshore district, alongside Zomba and Nsanje districts.

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CfSC Programme Officer Tobias Jere pleaded with the leaders to influence a “friendly environment” that would coax eligible registrants to patronise registration centres in numbers.

“This is the most crucial time when your presence will greatly be needed. Therefore, as people who command more respect from the communities, you need to assume a bigger role of promoting peaceful environment,” he said at St Augustine 3 Primary School.

Jere said political violence is not strange in Mangochi during any elections, citing the torching of two United Transformation Movement’s vehicles on the eve of the movement’s launch in the Eastern Region as a fresh example worth igniting the leaders to raise the bar of peaceful environment and co-existence.

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He added: “Our organisation with financial support from a German charity, Miserior, is implementing an ambitious project aimed at promoting a “just society” through dialogue with people of other faiths and cultures to reduce political inclined violence, especially during the forthcoming 2019 polls.”

Pastor of Church of Christ in Mangochi Peter Likagwa, who is also the district’s Coordinator for CfSC, asked his fellow friends to play a prominent role during the voter registration and the forthcoming tripartite elections in order to counter electoral and political violence.

“As leaders, let’s shape the environment by coming together and condemn any grouping that might spark violence. We need to jealously guard against anything that can bring turmoil among the communities,” he said.

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