Councilor commends MEC on discounted women nomination fees

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Mzuzu City Constituency’s only elected female Councilor Judith Chiume has commended the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)  for reducing nomination fees that women  wishing to contest as Members of Parliament and Councilors  will be paying by 50 percent.

Chiume who is Councilor for Msongwe Ward said this  in an interview in Mzuzu on Wednesday in reaction to MEC’s discount on the nomination fees.

“We are very grateful to the  Electoral Commission  for slashing nomination fees  for women.   K 250, 000 is still a lot of money but it is a welcome move. Definitely this will  go a long way  in enabling  women who are willing to  contest in the elections,”  Chiume said.

Chiume  also advised women  aspirants  in the forthcoming  tripartite elections to plan their  journey ahead in order to increase their chances of winning.

Judith Chiume

Chiume says move by MEC positive towards women empowerment.

“Those who are seeing their fellow women in positions in politics, it takes planning. We need focused nation-builders. The bottom line  is planning.   You have to start planning now. You cannot decide all of a sudden to contest in elections,”   Chiume  said.

The Msongwe Ward Councilor urged future Governments to create more jobs to empower women  so that the nation sees a situation where more women are  able to  source  the finances to contest  in political positions.

MEC announced in July  that it had set new nomination fee structures to promote aspiring  women, youth and the disabled candidates to contest in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

According to MEC, women aspiring to contest in Parliamentary Elections will be expected to pay K 250, 000 while their male counterparts  will cough MK 500, 000. For Local Government Elections, the nomination fee for met is pegged at 40, 000 while  women  will only pay K  20, 000.

However,  Peter Mumba the Governance Coordinator of Mzuzu Civil Society Network, has   questioned the relevance of nomination fees reduction saying that the move only serves to further underscore  gender inequality.

“I take it as a very unfortunately thing that we are failing to level the playing fields for both men and women. Girls and boys, female and male have been taught that they are equal so by just reducing the fee for women, it is qualifying that they are not equal,” said Mumba.

But at a recent  press conference held in Blantyre , the MEC Chairperson Dr Jane Ansah explained, in detail, that MEC reduced the nomination fees   for women to affirm its commitment  to supporting women , the youth and people with disabilities in  fulfilling their desire and right to participate  in the elections.

Meanwhile, MEC is currently  winding up Phase Four of the voter registration exercise in  Ntcheu, Blantyre, Blantyre City, Mwanza and Chikhwawa Districts in the run-up to the 2019 Tripartite Election.

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