13 December 2018

Malawi: Slow Start to Voter Verification Exercise in Kasungu

Kasungu — Voters' register inspection exercise has started in Kasungu at slow note with a few prospective voters turning out to the centres.

The exercise which has started in the district along with other districts of Nkhotakota, Ntchisi, Dowa, Salima, Mchinji and Dedza will run for five days from 10th to 14th December.

A visit to the centres on Monday showed that a few number of registered voters were turning up for the verification exercise.

However, supervisors of the centres visited expressed optimism that the numbers would pick up as the exercise progresses.

Joby Mthunzi, supervisor at Chankhanga school centre said not a lot of registered voters showed up on the first day at the centre which also had a high number of people during voter registration.

"It was the same case during registration where the first day's turn out wasn't desirable; however numbers picked up as days went by. We hope it will be the same with this exercise," said Mthunzi.

The situation was the same in other centres like Boma School, Success Private School and at RDP.

Meanwhile in all the centres visited the supervisors said they had started the exercise very well.

"Apart from the number of voters coming for the exercise, everything else is okay. We have not faced any challenges," said Albert Nkhako, Boma School centre supervisor.

According to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Team Leader for the district, Fyson Magalasi all the operators had already been deployed to their respective centres by Sunday afternoon.

"By Monday morning all the operators were at their centres. We only remained with the police officers since some of them had to come from Mzuzu, but by 9am on Monday all the police officers had been deployed to the centres," said Magalasi.

During the verification period, registered voters who lost their certificates will have a chance to get duplicate certificates which will enable them vote on May 21 next year.

MEC will also process transfers for people who have moved away from the centres where they registered.

Meanwhile MEC has strongly warned electoral stakeholders that it is an electoral offence to ferry voters to transfer to places where they are not eligible.

According to a press statement the commission released, those found committing this offence will be prosecuted and if found guilty they may be given a fine or prison sentence.

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