20 March 2017

Malawi Electoral Commission Urged to Do More Awareness On Demarcation of Wards and Constituencies

Senior Chief Kanduku of Mwanza says demarcation of wards and constituencies can only be meaningful if voters are aware of their political catchment areas.

The chief has since asked the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to intensify civic educating voters in the country on the same.

He said this Friday in Mwanza during a MEC's public consultation meeting on the demarcation of wards and constituencies in the district.

He said some voters are not aware of the boundaries of their wards and constituencies such that they end up voting in wrong areas.

"During the previous elections some people voted for councilors and MP of another ward and constituency because they did not know their boundaries," he said.

He said government should revisit the boundaries of the district council citing that some people in his area participate in the development programs of Neno district council yet they are in Mwanza district.

"There are people in my area who attend Dambe Area Development Committee meetings in Neno yet they are living in my area. I think it is high time government looked into this issue," he said.

Ward Councilor for Miseche ward, Moses Walota concurred with Kanduku adding that even councilors too need to know the boundaries of their areas.

"During the previous election, we (councilors) conducted campaign meetings in areas that were not ours simply because we were not aware of the boundaries," he bemoaned.

He stressed the need for the commission to reduce the distance voters walk from homes to polling centers by increasing the number of polling centers per ward.

MEC Commissioner Moffat Banda said the commission will soon engage stakeholders such as the National Initiative for Civic Education to strategize on the best way of educating voters on the demarcation of constituencies and wards.

"We feel it is very imperative for the commission to take on board other organizations especially NICE as principle civic educators to enlighten voters and other stakeholders on the political boundaries," he said.

He however said he was very impressed with chief's participation in the exercise and urged them to continue supporting the commission's activities.

He explained that demarcation of wards and constituencies should not interfere with catchment boundaries of chiefs and development structures such as Village Development Committees (VDCs) and Area Development Committees (ADCs).

During the meeting, members proposed a change by demarcation of Miseche and Khudze wards and increased number of polling center in almost all the four wards of the district.

Mwanza district has two constituencies Mwanza Central and Mwanza West and four wards.


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