Mixed results for voter registration
BY ALINAFE NYANDA, ERAH PINIFOLO & VICIAL NASOUH:
Salima District Commissioner, Charles Mwawembe, has expressed happiness with Tuesday’s commencement of the voter registration exercise in the district.
The exercise is also underway in Dedza and Kasungu districts ahead of next year’s tripartite elections.
According to Mwawembe, almost all voting stations around the district were reported open and operational on the first day.
He said Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) and National Registration Bureau officials had reported in all stations to register voters for the May 21 polls.
“I have been getting reports of people from all walks of life turning up at registration centres in response to the call to take part in next year’s elections,” Mwawembe said.
Mec Commissioner, Linda Kunje, said the exercise will run for two weeks in the three districts.
Kunje urged people in Salima to go and register in order to exercise the democratic right of choosing leaders of their choice.
She said Mec will ensure that all eligible Malawians of voting age are registered in time to cast their ballot next year.
“We would like to express our appreciation to political parties and their leaders, the media and other stakeholders who have helped to raise awareness of the exercise and the importance of being reliable and accurate in organising free and fair elections,” Kunje said.
Mec has since expressed delight with turnout in Kasungu District.
According to one of the supervisors in the district, a Mr Chimkombero, the community seems to have accepted the new registration process.
“The response has been very good as the registration is not taking long. You will hardly find any long queues if you go around the registration centres,” he said.
But the turn of events is different in Dedza where a low turnout has been reported despite sensitisation meetings.
A supervisor at Makankhula Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority Kaphuka, Bernadeta Chikalenda, said it is possible that people in the district believe that they still have time to register.
The first phase of the exercise ends on July 9 and according to Mec, extension of the process will be considered if necessary.
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