MEC Set To Roll-Out Civic Education To Counter Voter Apathy
In the just-ended June 29 by-elections except for Nkhatabay Central Constituency where a high turnout was registered, voter apathy reared its ugly head in two local government by-elections in Blantyre and Nsanje.
In Blantyre’s Chikwembere Ward many voters shunned the poll as out of 17 959 registered voters, slightly over 3, 000 turned up for polling.
The case was not any different in Nsanje Lalanje Ward where 17, 937 registered but only 6, 935 voters turned up.
The situation has sent a panic button to Malawi Electoral Commission MEC which is set to roll out nationwide civic education in an effort to reverse the never-ending voter apathy.
MEC Commissioner, Francis Kasaila said levels of apathy are very deplorable.
“The trend in local government elections has been worrying and that is crippling development in the country. Civic education will counter the trend,” said Kasaila.
The University of Malawi, political expert, Professor Blessings Chinsinga says Malawians have not benefitted from councilors hence their low turnout in elections.
“Only 1 percent of the national budget is allocated to local government. This has affected development there, year in, year out. If people are to take interest in local government elections, there is a need for authorities to pump in more resources,” said Professor Chinsinga.
Meanwhile, Parliament’s Principal Administrative Office, Elton Banda says the materials will be kept safe for records in the near future.
On June 29, MEC Conducted by-elections in Nkhatabay Central, Chikwembere Ward in Blantyre, and Lalanje Ward in Nsanje where only 40 percent only turned out for the elections.