NICE integrates registration sensitization with Covid-19 prevention messages


National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) in Thyolo has today embarked on a 14-day election registration sensitization campaign in which messages about Covid-19 are also being disseminated.

The organization is using mobile loud hailing and market sensitization approaches as a means to lobby people to register as the district starts registration exercise on Monday this week.

In an interview, District Civic Education Officer for NICE in Thyolo Moses Kaunda said their aim is to mobilize people to vote especially those who did not register in the past including youth who have turned 18.

He further said the sensitization campaign will reach the whole district as they have already started at Luchenza, Goliati, Thunga, Bvumbwe, Thekerani as well as Makwasa.

“This time around Thyolo NICE office is combining messages of elections registration as well as Covid-19 prevention measures such as social distance and washing hands with soap more often per day.

“We are disseminating Covid-19 prevention messages taking advantage of registration sensitization within the district. NICE has also put posters in strategic places about registration and we have also sent letters to church elders so that they can also give messages of registration to their members,” said Kaunda.

He added that his office has deployed volunteers across the district who are engaging chiefs with registration messages who in turn can spread to their subjects within their localities.

“People should see importance of registering for them to vote and to chose their leaders through the ballot. In this way, we can create a nation that can be able to make their own decision without any influence.

“We are also taking advantage of social media such as WhatsApp to send messages in different groups about registration and this approach is proving to be the best because we have been receiving feedback from the same platforms,” said Kaunda.

The second phase of voter registration has commenced today and shall run for two weeks up to 10th May, 2020.

The councils to be covered include Rumphi, Likoma, Dowa, Lilongwe District, Lilongwe City, Luchenza Municipality, Phalombe, Mulanje and Thyolo.

In a statement last week, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) said it is aware that phase one ended prematurely and therefore, will revisit the councils covered after the last phases of voter registration to ensure that all registration centres have run for the minimum statutory period of 14 days.