Understand electorate, social-culture values – Kalilombe

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Ntcheu South, Gloria Kalilombe

A young councillor aspirant for a ward in Ntcheu South, Gloria Kalilombe, has called on fellow young aspirants to understand the electorate and their socio-culture values.

Kalilombe made the remarks in Blantyre during National Youth Conversation which was jointly organised by the National Youth Council of Malawi (NYCOM) and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) for youth drawn from the south region.

“As young people, we need to understand the people we want to represent. We need to understand and respect people on the ground for us to win. this is my free advice,” she said.

NYCOM and MEC organised 2nd series of National Youth Conversations under the topic: Have the Youth Given Up? Unleashing the Power of Youth Participation and Leadership in Electoral Processes

Kalilombe is a field officer of the organisation called Save for the Poor Foundation (SAPOF) and said provided tips out of field and extension work experience.

She therefore warned fellow young aspirants against portraying characters that can dent their images before electorates.

NYCOM and MEC held the National Youth Conversation to mobilise young to vote in the 2025 general elections following research findings that show minimal youth participation in politics and electoral processes. 

Key speakers at the 2nd series of the National Youth Conversation included Professor, Boniface Durrani of the Afrobarometer, Professor Happy Kayuni, Dean of the School of Law at the University of Malawi and Action Aid Malawi, Yandura Chipeta.

Professor Dulani said Afrobarometer surveyed in 2023 whose respondents were adults.

He explained the survey which was about adults’ attitudes toward young people.

Dulani added that the survey revealed that the adults feel young people fail to define themselves, young people focus more on rights rather than responsibilities and young people run away from responsibilities.

On their side, the young people who attended the National Youth Conversation at Amaryllis Hotel said they haven’t given up their participation in politics and electoral processes.

“We are rather frustrated with how politicians treat us. They exploit us. They give us false promises and they make policies that benefit themselves other than the youths,” said Christie Banda of the Foundation for Civic Education and Social Empowerment.

The young people also complained of the field being not levelled to their advantage citing high nomination fees for those aspiring for elective positions.

MEC Deputy Chief Elections Officer responsible for Administration, Harris Potani said there are possibilities of reducing nomination fees for young aspirants.

” MEC is yet to decide on the nomination fees for the young aspirants. The commission will announce the reduction in the due course,” said Potani. 

In a bid to increase young people’s participation in electoral processes, MEC will continue engaging young people through a series of meetings ahead of the 2025 general elections, according to Potani.

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