By Deogratias Mmana, Pilirani Kachinziri & Samuel Kalimira
The Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has said it is set for today’s by-elections in three constituencies and one ward.
The electoral body has since called on voters to turn up in droves and exercise their voting rights.
Mec spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa told The Daily Times that all materials and staff were already deployed to polling stations.
He also said all polling stations would have washing facilities and that facemasks would be distributed to voters to avoid cases of coronavirus infection.
“All polling centres will open at 6am and close at 6pm. We urge all those who registered but lost their certificates to go and vote,” he said.
He said results of by-elections would be announced by Wednesday.
In Nkhotakota North East Constituency, presiding officer MacDonald Tanganyika said election stakeholders were trained in voting procedures and the voting materials were distributed to all the centres by Monday.
“We are done with all the preparations. What is remaining is for people to start voting. We checked all the voting materials with political party representatives and other stakeholders and all are happy,” he said.
President Lazarus Chakwera’s adviser on Persons with Disability and Albinism Overstone Kondowe is representing the Malawi Congress Party (MCP); UTM has Chimwemwe Chidothe while Patrick Kampaliro is carrying Alliance for Democracy (Aford)’s hopes.
The United Democratic Front (UDF) is being represented by Aleke Kamangeni whereas the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is fielding Silver Aisha in an election that will also have three independent candidates, namely Gift Mbuna, Zelita Banda and Franklyn Yonamu.
During the 2019 parliamentary election, DPP and MCP won two seats each while UDF secured one.
Meanwhile, the Anglican Church of Northern Malawi and Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian has asked people to go and vote in large numbers in today’s by-elections.
Mec is holding by-elections in three constituencies and one ward in the country.
Bishop Fanwell Magangani of Anglican Church of Northern Malawi said the elections should not be taken for granted as they offer the citizenry a platform to choose leaders of their choice.
Magangani said it is high time Malawians took the electoral process “seriously”, adding that voter apathy was a disease that culminates in wrong leaders being put in decision-making positions.
In Mzimba East Constituency, five candidates are contesting for the post. These are Wesly Kumwenda of DPP, Donnex Muva of MCP, Christopher Mnyenyembe of UTM, Wachepa Phiri of Aford, John Phiri of Freedom Party and Rueben Ngwenya, the only independent candidate.
In Dedza Central East Constituency, competition will be among Rogean Connex Gondwe [independent], Solomon Kachitsa [independent], Elliot Kasawala of DPP, Joshua Malango of MCP, Loudon Titan Phiri Malingamoyo [independent], Bonnex Malunga [independent] and Patrick J. M. Siwinda of UTM.
In Chimwalire Ward, Francis Chapita [independent] will compete for the post with Chiyembekezo Chilombo [independent], Anthony Stephen Choka [UDF], Matebule Kangaudzu [independent], Farook Kanyenda [independent], Lackson Likawa [MCP], Osman Sani Mapira [DPP], John Napose [Mafunde], Doris Ngalawa [independent] and Aford’s Lasten Stephano.