Voter verification facing logistical challenges

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it is facing transportation challenges to smoothly carry out voter verification in readiness for the May 2019 tripartite elections.

A vehicle carrying registration materials

MEC Public Relations Officer Sangwani Mwafulirwa disclosed this in an interview, saying despite the exercise progressing well, the commission is facing a logistical challenge in terms of transportation.

“As a commission we are facing a serious shortage of vehicles during the exercise as some vehicles which were assigned for the task have been withdrawn,” said Mwafulirwa.

According to the MEC publicist, out of the required 388 vehicles only 165 vehicles have been allocated for the exercise.

Mwafulirwa said: “With the exercise being conducted in rainy season, the demand for reliable rough terrain type of vehicles is needed especially in hard-to-reach areas.”

He said the commission is currently engaging authorities to resolve the situation and that there’s no recurrence in subsequent electoral activities.

Meanwhile, the commission has said it will not extend the second phase of voter verification exercise despite a noticeable low turnout of eligible voters verifying their details in the voters roll.

Heavy rains which have been falling in most parts of the Southern Region affected the exercise especially in Neno, Mwanza and Blantyre districts.

The commission is currently conducting the second phase of the exercise in Lilongwe, Ntcheu, Nsanje, Chikwawa, Blantyre, Mwanza and Neno.

The second phase of voter verification which is being conducted in five days is expected to end on Saturday December 22, 2018.