In an attempt to boost voter turnout in the May 21 Tripartite election, MEC officials led by Commissioner Elvey Karonga Mtafu have intensified voter and civic education meetings in Neno district aimed at sensitizing chiefs to encourage their subjects to vote.
Speaking when she presided over a voter civic education meeting at Traditional Authority Mlauli headquarters of Neno on Monday, MEC commissioner Elvey Karonga Mtafu called upon chiefs in the district to encourage their subject to go and vote on May 21 tripartite elections.
“We are taking extra steps in this election to make voting as easy as possible, one of those steps is to demonstrate to the eligible voters on how they will mark a ballot paper correctly. We have our voter civic education teams ready to reach all the villages you name them as long as they exist in Malawi,” said Mtafu.
Mtafu said MEC has strengthened voter civic education programs to ensure that voting process and voter materials are well translated to voters in their local language for the benefit of illiterate voters.
She called on traditional leaders to promote free and fair campaigning and ensure that all candidates and political parties are given an opportunity to conduct political meetings in their respective areas without intimidations.
Mtafu warned chiefs not to be used as activist of some political parties but they should attend all political meetings to listen what candidates and political parties are preaching to their subjects.
“In these meetings our main target are chiefs because we have seen and been told that in other areas the roles of traditional leaders are being depoliticized especially in rural areas like here where they are used to intimidate voters,” said Mtafu.
In his speech, Traditional Authority Mlauli said all the political parties and candidates are welcome to conduct political meetings in his area as long as they follow required procedures and practice clean campaign that does not incite violence.
Mlauli also called on his subject to brace themselves for voter civic education meetings MEC has rolled out in the district so that they understand the voting process and reduce null and void votes.