Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has come under fire from chiefs and politicians in Zomba Chingale over its decision to abolish the Chingale Constituency following the constituency demarcation exercise.
Member of Parliament for Zomba Chingale, Lonnie Phiri, observed that the constituency demarcation will deny some people in her area opportunity to development and essential social services such as health and child education.
She said schools will be far as such some parliamentarians will not be able to provide services to people due to vastness of their constituencies.
The Parliamentarian added that the demarcation shows that Zomba will now have 9 constituency thereby doing away with Zomba Chingale which will not have its own representation in parliament as it will be part of Zomba Lisanjala.
Phiri also observed that some parts of Zomba Chingale are impassable because of its topography and poor road conditions such that it will be worse if the area is added to Zomba Lisanjala, saying whoever wins in the 2025 parliamentary elections will face difficulties to effectively represent the area due to its vastness and huge demands for services.
“Zomba Chingale has some problems such as challenging topography and poor roads infrastructure and merging Zomba Chingale to Zomba Lisanjala will make the 2025 parliamentarian to face problems in distributing development projects evenly, due to its vastness ” Phiri added.
Senior Chief Mlumbe said the decision to do away with Zomba Chingale is unfortunate and a test to democracy.
He asked MEC to reverse the decision saying the electoral body should consider the concerned citizens’ appeal to maintain Zomba Chingale as constituency other wise MEC’s decision is likely to prompt voter apathy in 2025.
Commissioner Francis Kasaila disclosed this during a consultative meeting with election stakeholders in Zomba on Tuesday saying people should not be worried because MEC will look into concerns that have been raised duringng the consultative meeting .
Kasaila said MEC is still receiving complaints from different parts of the country and will write a report which should also be submitted to parliament to be deliberated for approval.
“MEC will look into the complaints and will write reports to all councils and will also send the report to parliament for approval,” said Kasaila, adding that there will be 10 million eligible voters by 2025 .
MEC is carrying out series of consultative meeting across the country following wards and constituency demarcation.