The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has assured flood victims in Nsanje district that they will vote despite losing their voter certificates to floods and due to displacement as the Commission still keeps names of those that registered.
MEC Chairperson Justice Dr Jane Ansah made the remarks on Wednesday in the district when she visited flood victims at various camps to console them and find out how prepared they are to participate in the 21st May Tripartite Elections.
“I wanted to inform them that no matter what they have gone through during the floods that the faced in Nsanje, they haven’t lost their right to vote and, as MEC we will create satellite centres to those that will not go back to where they registered and those that lost their voter certificates, they still vote as long as they registered,” said Ansah.
Ansah added that she was impressed of the victims’ state of readiness in that they have shown determination to take part in the voting and that they have indicated that they have been receiving messages on voter education.
“From the first camp (of Bitilinyu), they have said they evacuated in time, they preserved their NRB cards as well as certificates, so most of the people have their voter cards and we are confident that they will vote,” said MEC Chairperson.
Ansah also that said the Dry Test Results Transmission the Commission conducted went on well, where within a short time, they were able to receive 83.6% of sample results from tally centres, an indication that there will be a smooth transmission of results from district tally centres to the main tally centre.
In an interview, Chairperson for Bitilinyu Camp in Nsanje South Constituency, Shadreck Nyantondola, said the visit by the MEC Chairperson has renewed their willingness to vote as it has cast away doubts that were there before on eligibility to vote for those who lost voter certificates.
“The Chairperson Dr Jane Ansah has encouraged us and, our morale to exercise our rights to vote has been boosted, because when relocating to higher grounds we did that in a hurry and some lost their certificates in the process, but her coming has made us to be ready for the voting exercise,” said Nyantondola.
He said they were happy to see that the Chairperson was satisfied at the preparedness of flood victims, which he said has also made MEC gain confidence that the polling exercise will be smooth.
Apart from Bitilinyu, Ansah also visited Mpomba camp in South West and Bangula camp in Nsanje Lalanje Constituency. In the camps, she addressed the victims and shared a word of hope that they should not lose hope and that whoever registered with MEC will be allowed to vote.