22 March 2019

Malawi: Ministry of Civic Education Cautions Voters On Councilors

Lilongwe — Voters in the country have been advised to be conscious when electing councilors in their wards because a councilor has and should have direct access to the people.

Director of Technical Services under the Ministry of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development, Eric Ning'ang'a said electing a councilor is equally important as electing a Member of Parliament.

Ning'ang'a expressed his sentiments when he addressed potential voters at Nkhamenya in Kasungu District during an ongoing electoral civic education exercise which his Ministry is implementing.

"As Malawian citizens, voters have responsibility to elect responsible candidates who are able to transform lives of people. A councilor is one of the leaders in the ward that can help to transform their lives," he said

He said in this regard, a councilor has to be someone who the people identify with, and a person who knows needs of the people.

Ning'ang'a explained that a councilor takes the people's grievances to the District Councils that is where development projects originate from, therefore, they must elect someone who can ably articulate issues that are important to the people.

"People are more interested to elect an MP and electing a councilor seems an easy and not very important. But that should not be the case, they are all important in their own right," he said.

He cautioned unscrupulous politicians who buy voter registration cards from voters, saying voters should not be taken advantage of due to their poverty.

"Buying voter registration cards is a bad practice, if anyone will be found selling and buying a voter registration card, the law will take its course on them and they should be reported to authorities," he said.

Ning'ang'a then advised voters to keep their voter registration cards at safe places so that when May 21 approaches, they should not inconvenience themselves.

One of the participants of the civic education exercise, Ellen Chipeta, said the timely advice from Ministry of Civic Education will go a long way in sensitizing the voters on the precautionary measures to take when choosing the right candidate to vote for.

She said electing a councilor is something that she took for granted but with the education that she received on the day, she would be cautious on who to vote for on May 21, 2019.

Ministry of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development is on an awareness campaign for the upcoming May 21 tripartite elections. The awareness campaign will be conducted in all the districts across the country.

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