By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza
In a bid to ensure equal participation in the country’s tripartite elections, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has handed over Braille materials to the Malawi Union of the Blind (MUB).
Speaking at the handover ceremony during the national elections consultative forum (NECOF) meeting held in Blantyre, Mec chairperson Jane Ansah said the commission decided to hand over the materials following the outcry that many people with visual impairment were not taking part in the elections because of the absence of Braille materials for them.
Ansah observed that with the materials, the electoral commission looks forward to have many people with visual impairment participating in the electoral process.
“Our research has discovered that many people with blindness were not participating in elections as it was proved that they face difficulties to participate due to their status. This therefore, will go along the way in making the playing field equal,” said Ansah.
Executive director for MUB Ezekiel Kumwenda thanked Mec for the timely gesture.
Kumwenda described the gesture as a milestone that will go along the way in boosting the participation of the people with visual impairment in the tripartite elections.
“Elections have so far been not inclusive as we have been sidelined due to the absence of Braille materials. Some of us have been relying on the sighted people who in some cases have been misleading us to vote for the candidates of their choice,” said Kumwenda.
On the other hand, Kumwenda denounced the acts of violence during the political rallies, saying the development was also contributing to the people with visual impairment not to take part in the electoral process.
“We are prevented to attend the political rallies because of acts of violence perpetuated by the politicians. This also makes us to vote for the wrong candidates during the elections because we cannot differentiate the candidates with good ideologies,” said Kumwenda