Paramount Chief Kyungu of Chitipa and Karonga districts has pleaded with the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to adopt use of mobile cinemas when civic educating the rural masses on the process of voting in order to woo people to participate in the forthcoming by-election set for March 30.
Kyungu made the plea on Saturday at Mbande area development committee (ADC) hall when MEC engaged traditional leaders from Rukulu Ward to take them through the process of voting at the polling centre on the polling day to enable them preach the same to their subjects.
However, after being stunned with how MEC voter and civic education team dramatized the process, the revered chief was left with no option but to ask MEC to use the mobile cinemas to drive the message home which in turn will inspire voters to vote and reduce voter apathy.
He said: “As chiefs we really have roles to play which we will do to make sure that we reach out to our subjects to encourage them to exercise their democratic rights and vote for a candidate of their choice to enhance development. However, use of mobile cinemas would help to boost the messages to remotest areas and increase voter turnout hence the plea”.
In response, MEC Commissioner Dr. Anthony Mukumbwa said the suggestion the Paramount made is a welcome idea which the Commission will look into and see how best it can be incorporated by MEC’s civic education team.
“Indeed use of mobile cinema is a powerful tool in the voter and civic education exercise. However, I will take the message back to the Commission and see how to incorporate the idea otherwise we appreciate the role that traditional leaders play in mobilising their subjects to participate in the voting process hence the engagement meeting,” he said.
Mukumbwa asked traditional leaders to play a pivotal role to make sure that candidates and political party leaders do not castigate each other to avoid violence that may discredit the by-elections’ results.
He also encouraged compliance to Covid-19 preventive measures such as masking up, washing hands regularly and observing social distancing.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) deputy regional governor (North) Smart Mwakayira has advised people in the area of Kilupula to vote for Trustings Kamwambi for continued development.
He said this at Kakoma school ground on Saturday when he officially unveiled the DPP’s candidate to the people in the area, saying Kamwambi will continue from where his late brother James Kamwambi left.
About 51, 000 will cast their votes in the constituency’s 81 polling stations in the district on March 30 to elect a candidate from the eight contesting candidates, namely; Daniel Chitonya Mwanyongo (MCP), Katwaff Kaira (UTM Party), Dr. Shawo Mwakilama (Independent), Fwasani Silungwe (AFORD), Anderson Mwaipinga (Independent), Harry Mwandepeka Kasunga (UDF) and Harry Mwanyembe (Independent).