Mulanje — Registration and verification of voters for the forthcoming by-elections in Mulanje has started on a low note with only a few people turning up for the exercise on the first day.
Visits by Malawi News Agency at Mpala, Milonde, Misiyoni and Chimwaza registration centres established that only a few people turned up for the exercise, a development some attributed to lack of sensitization on the by-elections to people in the area.
Registration centre Clerk at Milonde Tinkhani Phiri told Mana that they had only conducted verification of a few people that came with no one coming to register for the first time.
"We have had low turn up of people today and from our own findings, most people are saying they had no knowledge about the commencement of the registration and verification exercise but we are optimistic that the four remaining days the situation will improve", said Phiri.
In response, Commissioner Elvey Ntafu who had come for a sensitization meeting with local leaders in the area said it is unfortunate that people were saying they were not informed about the development as MEC used local media and conducted meetings with leaders some months ago on the same.
"As MEC we have been planning for the by-elections and this also included meeting with chiefs and local media to help us in sensitizing the masses about the by-election and it is strange to hear people had no idea", Ntafu explained.
She was however hopeful that people will turn up on the remaining days especially considering the bad weather where there were rains on the first day of registration.
The voter registration and verification exercise will run for five days till March 5 and will be followed by nomination of papers by aspirant councilors on 7th March, 2018.
Similar exercise is also taking place in Malindi ward in Mangochi where by-election are also slated for April 10.