The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on Saturday commenced distribution of non-sensitive polling materials to all constituencies.
The materials include ballot boxes, voting booths and consumables for the polling centres which will be managed by four newly trained Constituency Stores Assistants (CSA) at each constituency tally centre for distribution to the polling centres.
Faison Magalasi, MEC’s Electoral Services Officer Responsible for Logistics said this in an interview in Mzuzu on Saturday.
“At Constituency level we have engaged CSA who will be reporting directly to the Constituency returning officers. I can say we are very much prepared in all Regions not only in this Northern Region. We have started pushing materials to the Constituencies. At Constituencies, we are using the TDCs, they are centrally located and managed by the Constituency Returning Officers.
“We are very much confident that we will make it and we will distribute all materials in time and just this coming Monday we are expecting to receive the sensitive materials, the ballot papers and results sheets,” Magalasi said.
Magalasi explained that the decision to distribute the non-sensitive materials from a decentralized position was taken to ensure effective delivery of polling materials following the challenges that MEC faced due to the centralized approach utilized in 2014.
Said Magalasi: “Our plan for the 2019 Tripartite Elections is we will distribute the non-sensitive materials then we will follow that with sensitive materials.
“We had some challenges in 2014 whereby all the packaging was done from the Central Point in Blantyre at the Head office. From the lessons learned in 2014, we thought that we should push these materials earlier and closer to the polling centres. This is why we are now busy distributing materials to constituencies.”
In the Northern Region, Chitipa will be the first Constituency tally centres to receive the non-sensitive polling materials followed by other centres such as Karonga and Rumphi.
According to a public notice issued on May 8 and signed by the MEC CEO Sam Alfandika, ballot papers will be received in the country on 13th May for Local Government Elections with half of Parliamentary Election ballots. The rest of the Parliamentary election ballot papers and the Presidential Elections ballot papers are expected to land on 14th May.
According to MEC, deployment of ballot papers to the District councils is expected to start from May 16 in readiness for the Country’s second Tripartite Elections on May 21.