As Malawi counts down to the May 21 Tripartite Elections, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says all is set for the fourth and final phase of the voter register inspection and verification exercise scheduled to run from 5th to 9th January 2019.
The exercise will be conducted in Chitipa, Karonga, Rumphi Nkhata Bay, Likoma, Mzuzu City and Mzimba.
MECS’s Deputy Director of Electoral Services, Wellingtone Katantha, said on Wednesday that they are deploying voter verification staff and materials in Mzuzu City, Mzimba North, Mzimba North East and Mzimba West.
“We are deploying staff in readiness for the verification of voters exercise which starts on Saturday 5th of January up to 9th of January. We have all the materials including the voter register and we have the kits which have been programmed to these specific Constituencies,” Katantha said.
Katantha urged those who registered to vote to ensure that their details are accurately recorded in the voter’s roll in order to avoid delays when voting on May 21.
“I would like to encourage all those who registered in the registration of voters to go to the centres and check and confirm that they are registered voters in the voter’s roll, so that when they come during the Polling Day they should be processed quickly.
“Those who may not be able to go to the centres can do so on their phones just dial *2019# and then put their registration certificate number and they can easily be verified,” Katantha said.
In a press statement issued by MEC on December 29, 2018, MEC added that the dialling code *2019# is enabling voters on both TNM and Airtel mobile phone Networks to verify their registration details for free.
“Registered voters are also encouraged to check the correctness of their registration details by dialling *2019# on TNM and Airtel networks and follow instructions. This facility is free and one handset can be used by more than one person to verify voter registration details,” reads part of the statement signed by MEC’s Chief Election’s Officer Sam Alfandika.
While registered voters who have relocated to areas in phase four can also process their transfers at the centres they plan to vote from, the Electoral Body has said that it will not conduct fresh voter registration for those that failed to do so during the voter registration period.
Meanwhile, MEC opens collection of nomination papers on January 3. Political parties will be allowed to collect nomination papers for their candidates while independent candidates are expected to collect the forms from Constituency Returning Officers countrywide.