The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust has encouraged electoral stakeholders in Likoma and Chizumulu Islands to cooperate in a bid to prevent violence on the road to May 21 tripartite elections.
This transpired following an interface assembly which was called upon by NICE on Saturday, March 16, 2019 where the District Civic and Voter Education Coordination Committee (DCVECC) dated political leaders, the Police Service, local government and religious leaders on the Electoral Laws and code of conduct towards the campaign.
Commenting on the matter, Likoma district Civic Education Officer for NICE Patrick Jonathan Chikoti said the initiative was aimed at promoting peaceful campaign by encouraging political parties to abide by the rule of law stipulated by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
He said: “We engaged this strategy to have a briefing session on the Electoral Laws regarding the campaign period with all the concerned parties as we edge closer to the development.
“We have emphasized on the fact that politicians are expected to conduct themselves accordingly as regards to the rule of law and sharing 2014 practical experiences to map the way forward,” Chikoti said.
Sharing sentiments on the development, District Information Officer (DIO) for Likoma Council Patrick Botha described the approach to be of great relevance to the district in safeguarding violent free tripartite elections.
“Electoral affairs more especially during the campaign period can be quiet delicate. Sometimes people violate these rules out of ignorance or deliberately in some cases, but I am sure that all the politicians and the electorate will know how to conduct themselves throughout the campaign and voting period to safeguard credible free and fair polls.”
He further advised stakeholders who appreciated the convergence to spread the message further to the outskirts of the Islands so that the message should be highly communicated up to the household perspective for tangible results.
“I would like to urge those who assembled at this place today to echo the information we have disseminated to them during the discussion through diverse meetings they will hold with their people so that each and every person is addressed,” said Botha.
Meanwhile, NICE Trust will conduct an assembly of the same nature on Chizumulu Island in the coming weeks in fulfilment of its core obligations towards voter civic education in the district to secure free and fair tripartite elections on May 21, 2019.