The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has said the low voter turnout in the first phase of the registration exercise happened because voters are disgruntled by the leaders they elected who do not participate in the development of their areas.
Mec Commissioner Dr. Moffat Banda made the remarks on Sunday when Mec organized a football bonanza between Dowa United and Dzaleka camp to raise awareness on voter registration.
Banda said the electoral body thought of organising the activities to take advantage of the people who came to watch the game to inform them about the registration exercise which starts in the district on 13th July, this year.
Commissioner Banda added that football is a crowd puller, hence taking advantage of it to deliver the message of voter registration, verification and voting for candidates of their choice.
Banda said it is important that all eligible voters in the district register with Mec as they will be accorded an opportunity to vote for candidates of their choice.
He called on political parties in the district to be tolerant saying this is vital for a successful and peaceful electoral process.
On voter registration in some districts of the country under phase 1, Commissioner Banda said many people registered when they realized that the phase was coming to an end in those districts.
Commissioner Banda then called upon all stakeholders in the district to bring awareness to the people on the importance of registering and voting saying the task is not only for the Electoral Commission but all need to work hand in hand for the elections to be credible, transparent and accountable.
On his part, Dowa District Elections officer James Gama said Mec in conjunction with other stakeholders has reached out to many people in the district with messages of registration, expressing optimism that many will register.
During the football bonanza, Dowa United emerged winners after beating Dzaleka camp with two goals to nil, receiving a Trophy plus cash of K 75,000 while the losing team, Dzaleka, went away with K50,000 cash.
Malawi will hold elections on May 21 next year to elect the President, Members of Parliament and Councilors in what many predict to be a tightly contested elections since 1994 when Malawi had the first multiparty elections.