The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says traditional leaders, religious leaders and political parties in Karonga have a role to play in mobilizing their people to register in the registration exercise.
The urge has come as the seventh phase of the exercise is set to begin on Monday next week in the lakeshore district of Malawi.
MEC Commissioner, Dr. Moffat Mastern Banda, who chairs the media, civic and voter education committee spoke of the importance of traditional leaders during an interface meeting with the chiefs at Traditional Authority Kilupula’s headquarters in Karonga on Tuesday after roadshows at Kakoma and Pusi trading centres.
Commissioner Banda said as custodians of cultural values, chiefs can easily persuade their subjects in their areas to register hence engaging them.
“As MEC we do realise roles chiefs play in society. They command a lot of respect and at the same time they are custodians of culture such that it will be easy for them to relay the messages in their villages on the importance of registering in the voter registration exercise,” Banda said.
He further said the previous phases have taught them lessons that have in turn made MEC to engage an extra gear to devise various methods in the forthcoming phase by among others intensifying use of roadshows, dramas and distribution of posters and fliers so as to woo as many people as possible to register.
“As you can see, we have come here in Karonga earlier than our schedule to massively drum up the civic and voter education exercise properly through roadshows and distributing various materials with various messages so that we do not leave anyone behind,” the commissioner said.
On his part, traditional authority (TA) Kilupula assured the commissioner that all the 26 villages under his jurisdiction will register enmasse come October 8, saying this is the only opportunity to put in position ‘sons and daughters’ who have the welfare of the people at heart.
The seventh phase of voter registration exercise begins on Monday, October 8 and ends October 21 in Karonga, Chitipa, Rumphi, Machinga and Chiradzulu districts.