Community leaders from Chilanga Ward in Karonga Northwest Constituency in the area of Senior Chief Kilupula have called upon the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to expedite the re-demarcation exercise to enable elected leaders implement development to the people equitably.
Mwakasangira village development committee (VDC) chairperson Daniel Mwambatula made the call on Sunday when MEC engaged traditional, ADC and VDC leaders at Miyombo ground to help the Commission in wooing voters to go and register and verify their names in the voters register from Monday, February 22 to March 7, 2021.
Mwambatula said Kilupula area development committee (ADC) in Chilanga Ward has about 37 villages that are in both Karonga North and Karonga Northwest Constituencies and they are sidelined in developmental activities as Members of Parliament from the two constituencies fail to reach a consensus on who to develop the area.
He said: “We want to know as to when MEC will carry out the constituency and Ward re-demarcation exercise because this area is lagging behind in terms of social amenities. Therefore, the earlier this is re-demarcated the better because so that voters enjoy equal distribution of resources”.
While echoing Mwambatula’s sentiments, Senior Chief Kilupula expressed optimism that MEC will do the needful, saying he is the only traditional leader with three Wards of Chilanga, Songwe and Kaporo and two Members of Parliament, a situation he said is impeding smooth implementation of development in the area.
Kilupula has, however, assured the Commission that regardless of the circumstances, people in the area will register, verify their names and vote en-masse on March 30.
In response, MEC Commissioner Dr. Anthony Mkumbwa said the Commission has taken note of what he called ‘community leaders’ genuine concerns’ and said MEC is currently holding consultative meetings with various stakeholders to see how best to do the exercise.
“The Commission is looking into that matter with the urgency it deserves. However, first things first, we are conducting awareness meetings with various leaders to help us woo their subjects to register and vote in large numbers to exercise their constitutional right because we know that their voice matters. Thereafter, we will begin looking into the re-demarcation exercise across the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, political parties are yet to unveil who is to stand to fill the vacant seat of the late Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Member of Parliament James Kamwambi who died on February 5 due to Covid-19 at Chitipa District Hospital.