VOTER APATHY MARS CHIKWEMBERE WARD LOCAL GOVERNMENT BY-ELECTIONS

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BY George Banda – MEC Stringer
Voting for the June 29 the by-elections in Blantyre Chikwembere Ward was hit by voter apathy as few voters turned out to cast their votes.
Despite almost all the polling centres opening at 6 o’clock in the morning under strict covid-19 preventive protocols, only few people showed up to vote.
Six candidates including two female aspirants were vying for the councillorship of the Ward which had 17,959 registered voters.
The voting process which went on smoothly encountered two notable incidents, at Mdeka primary school polling centre some people who identified themselves as UTM Party roving monitors wanted to observe the electoral process at the center.
Security personnel and Malawi Electoral Commission-MEC Commissioner Olivia Liwewe intervened and whisk away the alleged roving monitors.
According to the country’s electoral laws does not recognize the role of roving monitors.
UTM party and Democratic Progressive Party-DPP supporters at Muonekera 1 polling centre in Chikwembere ward lodged a complaint to MEC against Malawi Congress Party-MCP candidate over the resumption of a road construction on polling day as they allege it as a campaign tool.
Muonekera 1 polling centre Presiding Officer Kondwani Nyangulu, confirmed receiving the complaint and said it has been directed to MEC for attention.
The construction of the Matope road which started earlier but was abruptly stopped resumed today on a polling day a development which irked supporters of the two parties.
However speaking to journalists soon after monitoring the voting process in Chikwembere Ward, MEC Chairperson Justice Chifundo Kachale acknowledged that the commission only received reports of the Mdeka Primary School Polling Centre incident.
The commission was conducting by-elections in Chikwembere Ward following the death of councilor Mathews Siyyad Jirani of the Democratic Progressive Party-DPP.

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