Nkhata-bay Council hopeful for successful June 29 polls

District Commissioner (DC) for Nkhata-bay Rodney Simwaka has expressed optimism towards successful by-election this coming month-end despite the low turnout by the electorate for the inspection exercise in Nkhata-bay Central constituency.

The DC confidently made the remarks in an interview on Friday 11th June, following the conclusion for the voter verification exercise on Tuesday which has revealed that 8,521 eligible voters are those that have managed to follow up on their names in the voters roll against the projected figure of 17,684 representing 48% of the total registered voters in the constituency.

In his speech, Simwaka said that the development is not quite worrisome as they have had such kind of experiences in the past elections where people could ignore the verification exercise but still came forward in large numbers during the actual voting day.

“We are still hopeful even though it has been noted that only 48% of the eligible voters have gone for the inspection exercise. It is not a serious issue to us per say because the inspection is not the actual voting process thus we believe that people will still come forward to vote.”

“The inspection is simply a conscious move to make sure that the names are appearing in the voters roll and not the ultimate stage for the by-election, so for those who have missed out, it is not the end for them as they are still privileged and required to vote on 29th June.” He explained.

The DC continued to say that it is high time the council will step-up a very serious voter and civic education campaign so that they get more people to vote in the by-election.

He said: “We will continue with our persuasion initiative as we still have time ahead so that we motivate people by embarking on an extended sensitization campaign.”

It is now certain that the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) will conduct the by-election in the country following the appointment of the new commissioners by president Dr. Lazarus Chakwera during the mid-week after the High Court fired the four DPP commissioners as they were not duly appointed.

Meanwhile, about 17,684 eligible voters are expected to cast their ballots in the parliamentary re-run in Nkhata-bay central constituency on June 29, 2021.