The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has assured Malawians that it is prepared to deliver a smooth voter registration exercise in the eighth and final phase of the biometric voter registration in Nkhata Bay, Likoma, Mzuzu City and Mzimba.

This was disclosed by District Elections Clerk for Mzimba North Demeria Rocha during a District Advisory Forum (DAF) meeting organized by National Initiative For Civic Education (NICE) at Police Hall in Mzuzu on Friday.

“All the preparations are done. The same teams that were working in all the other phases are the same ones that will work here. Deployment will be done at Katoto Secondary School and NICE should collect the civic education materials from MEC,” said Rocha.

According to Rocha, MEC has already equipped the Mzimba North District Elections Supervisory Teams (DEST) to monitor the voter registration exercise for irregularities in addition to monitors provided by political parties.

When members of the DAF including Police, community members and traditional leaders queried MEC on its preparations to ensure a high turnout of voters in the remaining areas.

Rocha, explained that MEC had put in place various strategies including working with church leaders and opening the registration centres even on public holidays. She however, stressed the need for people without national IDs to still participate in the voter registration exercise.

“MEC will give a change to those who did not register in the previous the national IDs registration to still process their IDs. We will have NRB officers at the centres, so everyone who is eligible must come and register for the national ID and for the voter registration,” said Rocha.

And NICE District Civic Education Officer for Mzuzu and Mzimba North Wisdom Zunguzungu Nyirenda also assured the DAF that NICE is already taking up its role of ensuring that the masses are sensitized in order to attain an improved voter registration turnout.

“ Our role is to ensure that people take part in the voter registration exercise. This is being done through various media; we will use drama, loud hailers among others so that maybe from the experiences from the other Districts, we can do better,” said Nyirenda.

The DAF meeting was organized with funding from the European Union to NICE with the aim of capacitating the Forum to take a lead role in ensuring a massive participation in the voter registration exercise which commences in Mzuzu City on Saturday October 27 and ends on Friday November 9, 2018.

The meeting also saw re-election of leaders. Inkosi Mpherembe remains the DAF Chairman until the next DAF elective meeting slated to take place after the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

In a related development, as part of final preparations for the voter registration exercise, last week MEC in Mzuzu City trained 45 election supervisors from across Mzuzu to effectively manage the voter registration process.

The election supervisors are headmasters of schools where the voter registration centres are located.

Source : Elections Updates

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