The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has warned electoral staff in the Northern Region to exercise impartiality and neutrality in handling the nomination process in order to ensure credibility of this Year’s Tripartite Elections slated for May 21.
Commissioner Linda Kunje who is also Chairperson of MEC’s Finance Committee sounded the warning in Mzuzu on Saturday during a daylong training of Constituency Returning Officers from Mzuzu City, Rumphi District and Mzimba North held at Mzuzu City Council.
“As electoral staff you are not supposed to engage in malpractices that can easily undermine the credibility of the Elections. You are supposed to be impartial and not show political sides and partisanship.
“There will be constant and intense monitoring and supervision by the Commission. If you are found engaging in malpractices, the Commission will not hesitate to sever ties with you,” Kunje said.
Malawi is currently in the nomination phase of the electoral cycle where political aspirants are collecting nomination forms to contest in the forthcoming Elections. From Monday to Friday next week, 4th to 8th February, aspirants Countrywide are scheduled to submit the filled nomination forms to their respective constituency returning officers.
However, all roads lead to Blantyre where presidential aspirants are slated to submit their nomination papers to MEC at Chichiri International Conference Centre Hall popularly known as COMESA Hall.
Meanwhile, law enforcers in Mzuzu have assured electoral stakeholders in Mzuzu and residents of tight security during submission of nomination forms to prevent any violent occurrences.
Officer-in-Charge for Mzuzu Police, Lovemore Mwabumba said that Police are set to provide intense patrols during the submission of nomination papers.
“Here in Mzuzu, as Police we are prepared to cover the nomination process. As Police we will ensure materials are not tampered, stolen or destroyed hence we will assure that there is 24 hour visibility within the premises where these materials are being kept.
“There are many candidates who move around with their supporters. We will also increase our visibility within the streets to ensure that there is orderly conduct of each and every citizen during that time and that we prevent the occurrence of crime,” Mwabumba said.
Aspirants in this year’s Elections are expected to compete for 193 Constituencies and 462 Wards while MEC indicates that 20 presidential candidates have so far collected nomination papers.