As one way of promoting democracy and intensifying awareness in the ongoing voter registration campaign, National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust in Likoma and Chizumulu Islands met people with disabilities to tell them about the obligation they have towards the electoral process in the country.
The daylong meeting which NICE for the district held on Wednesday at Chisomo Resource Center (CRC) in Chiponde area attracted members of Likoma People with Disabilities and Malawi Union of the Blind (MUB) – Likoma chapter associations.
According to NICE district officer for the two islands Patrick Chikoti, the organization came up with the initiative as one way of sensitizing people by targeting vulnerable islanders, in order to promote their rights and recognise their important role ahead of 2019 tripartite elections.
“We realize the need of reaching out to all Malawians regardless of any disability, Ethnic group, gender or any other kind of a situation diversifying the class of people in the country so long as the person is a bona-fide citizen of the nation,” Chikoti explained.
He continued to say that the meeting was called upon to discuss the tendency of discrimination against and looking down on people with disabilities in the country which he said retards the prosperity of the nation at large.
“This has been done to allow them exercise their democratic rights of participating in political and leadership positions as well as being able to choose leaders of their choice by coming forward for voter registration when the time comes in October,” he further explained.
Commenting on the matter, secretary for the Malawi Union of the Blind [MUB] – Likoma chapter Mrs. Beatrice Mzungu, applauded NICE for such a commendable effort of reaching out to venerable groups, saying it is now high time Malawians quit the attitude and manoeuvre in unity.
She said, “We have witnessed a very good gesture displayed by NICE Trust. This will act as a huge motivation for these people because they now feel that they are part of the society and have a huge role to play together with the rest of the citizenry in developing Malawi.”
Taking his part, a member for Likoma People with Disabilities Organization Charles Likolechi of Madimba Village said he was privileged with the acknowledgment, stating that this will encourage him to participate in the forthcoming tripartite elections to choose leaders of his choice, as he is now fully aware of exercising his democratic rights despite his disability.
He then appealed to all people with disabilities in the country to stop looking down on themselves and come forward to participate in the ongoing voter registration campaign to be able to cast a vote come 21st May, 2019 polls.