Voter apathy in Dedza Central Parliamentary by-elections

Elections in Dedza Malawi

Thousands of registered voters stayed away from the Dedza Central Parliamentary by-elections which were conducted on Thursday.

According to unconfirmed results, Willard Gwengwe of Malawi Congress Party has won after a tight race with 7, 988 votes against Jacob Kaumphawi of Independent who got 7, 395 votes while Andrew Koweza of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came on third position.

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) figures indicate that the constituency had 47, 713 registered voters which indicates that majority of people did not go to cast their votes.

The figure of people who went to cast their votes represent less than 35 percent.

For example, out of 783 total registered voters at Chiwaka Primary school, only 219 cast their votes representing 27.9 percent.

Official results are expected to be announced by MEC today by 2 PM from Dedza Residential Training Centre which is a National Tally Centre for the By-elections.

Some people have indicated that the low turnout during the by-elections was due to lack of awareness campaign by Civil Society Organisations on importance of voting.

The elections were relatively peaceful in all centres. However, two incidences were reported and the first one was the arrest of a woman by the name Judith Banda for allegedly voted using another person’s name.

The second incidence was the alleged conduct of MCP candidate Willard Gwengwe of visiting poling centres during voting hours.

This resulted in lodging of a complaint by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which MEC is yet to respond.


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