As the second phase of voter registration exercise is still underway, it has been learnt that a United Transformation Movement (UTM) aspirant was ferrying people from Ntchisi to Dowa for registration.
Annie Makuta who is aspiring for parliamentary seat in Dowa North was taking people from Ntchisi to Dowa in cars where some of them managed to register at Chibadzi centre before they were discovered.
According to reports, after being discovered at Chibadzi centre, Makuta took the unregistered people to Mtandawagalu centre but they were discovered before registering since all the centres were alerted about the same.
Speaking before the Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) and the District Elections Supervisory Team (DEST) during a meeting which was called by the Malawi Electoral Commission and the District Commissioners from both Ntchisi and Dowa on Friday, party monitors testified that they rejected some people from registering after discovering they were not from the district.
The monitors said incumbent Member of Parliament for the constituency Sam Kawale interrogated the people and they admitted that they were from Ntchisi.
Kawale reported the matter to Dowa DC, Alex Mdoko whom upon receiving the report engaged his counterpart, the Ntchisi DC.
One of the monitors for Malawi Congress Party Rodwel Kachitekwe said an unusual number of people than projected registered on Tuesday and they just assumed it was due to the voter civic education taking place in the district.
However, on the following day while they were registering, they received a call from MCP’s Alice Mwale alerting them to be observant as it was reported that some people were being ferried from Ntchisi in cars to register.
“When we received that call I discussed with my fellow monitor and we agreed that he should go and check the cars which were ferrying the people and he found a lorry that was ferrying people at a distance and he managed to take the number plate,” said the monitor.
According to Kachitekwe, apart from the lorry, there was also a minibus which was being used to ferry people.
Upon hearing that her people had been refused to register, Makuta arrived at the said centre where she caused a commotion and she insulted the monitors but the security personnel managed to maintain order.
When asked about the allegations, Makuta accepted and she was quick to say that those people were her relations as her parents come from both Ntchisi and Dowa.
After hearing from both parties, the resolution was arrived that the accused did wrong by ferrying people from one district to another.
It was observed that she did this with full knowledge that she was breaking the electoral laws as the said group of people did not go to register at once but were rather in groups of 4, and upon interrogation they lied at first that they were from the same district.
Makuta was therefore told to stop ferrying people from other districts and focus on lobbying people in her constituency to register.
She was also warned against causing any kind of disruption where electoral activities are taking place and she agreed to all the points raised.
Speaking during an interview after the meeting, Ntchisi district Commissioner James Manyetera expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting.
“The one who would have been thought to be a culprit accepted the wrongdoing and we believe she is not going to do it again,” said the DC.
Manyetera said in an electoral process anything can trigger misunderstanding that is why it was decided that the issue should be addressed with the agency it deserved.
According to the DC, ferrying people from one district to another could have led to unfair advantage for both the contestants in the constituency as well as from where these people were coming from.
On his part, the incumbent MP said he was happy that the issue was addressed and resolved.
“I reported the issue because I was trying protect the people because they were not happy with what was happening and I being a custodian I was trying to help because anything could have happened,” said Kawale.