Political leaders in Chiradzulu say the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the flow of electoral information, observing that this might have a negative impact on voter turnout in the July 2 fresh presidential polls.
The leaders said since the declaration of partial lockdown at the District Council (which is the hub of information), they have been ignorant on the goings-on of the fresh election.
For instance, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) District Governor, Mwapeya Kaliwo in an interview, admitted that he was ignorant of the discontinuance of the voter registration exercise by MEC.
“I am hearing it from you that the MEC announced the stoppage of registering new voters as ordered by the Supreme Court of Appeal. Despite the information gaps, as a party, we have been sensitising our followers on the same using our area structures, while our chiefs played the major role,” he confessed.
However, Kaliwo said it is sad to realise that the said information was outdated. On this note, he called on all electoral stakeholders to network and step up efforts in disseminating electoral information to reduce voter apathy.
In concurrence, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) District Chairman, Dyson Likangala, said social-distancing safety measure, is affecting flee flow of information, as only few people are allowed to hold a meeting.
Likangala expressed fear that there is no guarantee that the information shared at these small meetings would reach the absentees without distortion.
“We are very limited in interacting with our supporters especially in this crucial campaign period due to coronavirus. We would have loved if our all supporters get well updated information so that we should move together,” he said.
Meanwhile, the two leaders have hailed the district’s Multi-Party Liaison Committee, saying it has achieved coexistence among political parties thus far.