Former President Joyce Banda said the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) nomination fees for 2019 elections are prohibitive and exorbitant. Banda said the excessive fees forbids the poor from contesting for various positions in the 2019 elections. This statement was made during a people’s Party (PP) rally at Police Ground Area 23 in Lilongwe on Thursday, Banda said it is only the rich who can afford to pay such excessive amounts.

According to MEC, presidential candidates for the 2019 elections will pay K2 Million, male parliamentary are required to pay K500, 000 and female candidates will be expected to pay K200, 000.

For Councillors in the local government elections, aspiring males Councillors will pay a nomination fee of K40, 000 while females are expected to pay K20, 000.

Banda expressed worry that poor people who have leadership skills will not be able to contest in the 2019 elections.

“The amount of money that aspiring members of parliament are required to pay to Malawi Electoral Commission is exorbitant and prohibitive to poor people who are blessed with leadership skills but have no money! leadership isn’t only for rich people you know,” said Banda.

She then demanded MEC to reduce the nomination fees to allow many Malawians to take part in the elections. During the rally, Banda promised to remove expiry dates on driving licenses saying many drivers face challenges when renewing the licences.

She also promised a K10 billion revolving fund for loans targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to improve people’s livelihoods, to end blackouts and introduce free electricity for people in rural areas.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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