The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust has told voters to attach more value to elections as they are part of development.
The organisation in conjunction with the Blantyre Press Club (BPC) held a public debate at Ntaja in Machinga aimed at soliciting citizens’ views on the importance of participating in an election such as the one in 2019.
Speaking during the debate, NICE Coordinator for the south Enock Chimkuntha said it is very important for Malawian citizens to fully recognize the relevance of participating in elections in order for the next election to be fully patronized.
“In an election we choose leaders to spur development both at national and local authority level, as such elections should be considered as part of development, rather than simply a process of dealing with bad leadership,” said Chimkuntha.
He further advised people of the area to ensure that they open up their minds to manifestos of all political parties in order for them to be able to sample and select the ones that will benefit national development.
Commenting on the issue, Secretary General for Blantyre Press Club Simeon Shumba advised the citizens to seek development through wise voting for leaders with passion to develop Malawi.
He added to say that citizens must consider voting leaders on all the three positions namely President, Member of Parliament (MP) and Councilor on May 21 next year as a way of achieving full representation of the citizens at local and national level.
Discussions during the debate revealed that a good percentage of the participants were not satisfied with the way most political leaders carry out their responsibilities after winning an election, hence not seeing the need to continue voting.
However, speaking in an interview, Group Village Headman Ntaja said civic education and encouragement from different electoral players are to help the citizens to understand the relevance of voting hence increasing numbers of voters for the forthcoming election.
“Some people have lost hope because of lack of trust in some leaders that they have been electing; however we have been telling them that staying away from the election is not the best solution because in the end they will let the bad leaders to continue ruling, and we hope that this message will diffuse into the communities and every eligible voter will turn up for the elections on May 21 next year,” said GVH Ntaja.
Earlier this year, Blantyre Press Club entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Initiative for Civic Education which among other things exists to address issues of lack of misinformation among eligible voters in readiness for the 2019 tripartite elections.