9 November 2018

Malawi: Mzuzu Huge Turn Out in Poll Registration - MEC Registers 100 Percent Voters

Some voter registration centres in the City of Mzuzu have registered over 100% voter registration against the projected statistics, according to preliminary records of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) .

The records indicate that some centres such as Kaviwale School had registered 3470 against the projected 3156 representing 118% registration while Geisha School had registered 1107 against the projected 1042 representing 106% registration by day 12 of the exercise.

The registration statistics are expected to rise sharply on Friday as the voter registration exercise comes to an end.

Spot checks at over six registration centres in the City on Thursday revealed that while some centres had less than five people waiting to register at a time, queues were beginning to swell at other centres as fear of being left out of the voter registration gripped some residents.

According to Registration Supervisor for Mzuzu CCAP Centre, located in the central business area, Chrissy Taphasira , daily registered voters had more than doubled this week and more people are expected to flock to the registration centres on Friday.

"Many people are registering. We had 401 registered yesterday. Maybe this high turn up is due to the fact that closure is tomorrow and many people are flocking to register and we do not know of tomorrow," said Taphasira.

Taphasira , however, bemoaned the high numbers of people who want to register for the national IDs at the eleventh hour.

"Many people who are coming are coming to register for the national IDs for the first time and many have lost their IDs but they are all being processed here," said Taphasira.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) through its Northern Region Governor Kenneth Sanga said that the Party's had observed a fair number of people participating in the voter registration exercise.

" We have monitors in all the centres. We are satisfied with the way the voter registration is going. In some centres where there are low numbers of people registering, we would have loved to see more people coming to register," said Sanga.

Confirming reports of low numbers registering at some centres, MEC's District Election's Clerk Pilirani Simukonda admitted that low numbers were registered at mostly new voter registration centres. According to Simukonda Kaligomba School and Mzuzu Government School had also registered low figures as was the trend at the two centres in 2013.

Another political party monitor, Regina Manda of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) who was stationed at St Michael's Centre expressed satisfaction at the progress of the voter registration.

" From my observation, there have not been any major issues here at this Centre, everything is going on well. People are coming to register, "said Manda.

According to registration statistics posted at St Michael's school notice board, over 1600 people had registered at the Centre from day one to 12 of voter registration.

But Registration Supervisor Mazganga Banda decried the low number of women registering at St Michael's Centre.

Observation at six of the registration centres also revealed voter registration figures from day one to day 12 of the exercise are being openly displayed on black boards at the centres for media and all visitors to the centres, in a bid to ensure transparency and accountability of the registration process.

The eighth and final phase of the biometric voter registration exercise started on Saturday, October 27 and ends on Friday November 9 in Mzuzu City, Nkhata Bay, Likoma and Mzimba.

MEC through its Chairperson has reiterated that the final results from all the phases of the voter registration exercise will be produced once all the data from all the biometric voter registration kits has been transferred and all causes of variance such as duplicates and transfers have been managed.


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