National Initiative for Civic Education Trust (Nice) has appealed to Malawians to exercise their democratic right by participating in the forthcoming tripartite elections for the country to continue registering meaningful development.
NICE District Civic Education Officer (DCEO) for Blantyre Rural, Rose Simfukwe, made the appeal on Friday during a community voter registration awareness campaign that took place in the area of Traditional Authority Kuntaja in the district.
Simfukwe said if people participate in elections, apart from exercising their constitutional rights, they also put people of their choice in crucial positions with trust they would assist in developing the country.
“The whole essence of having elections is to allow citizens elect people who are developmental conscious. That, in a way, fosters development,” Simfukwe said.
Simfukwe continued: “The challenge is that if people don’t take part in the voting exercise, chances are high for a wrong person to be elected which is retrogressive for a country like ours”.
Simfukwe said as the country is preparing for the 2019 elections, it was the duty of NICE to provide Malawians with relevant information while at the same time urging them to fully participate in the registration as well as casting the ballot.
“We are not resting, the awareness campaign will continue until when the elections are conducted. What we need is that people should be fully aware of how the elections will be conducted next year,” she added.
Simfukwe, therefore, asked people of the area to keep their national identity cards safe in view of the fact that this would be the only legal document to be used during voter registration exercise.
She also encouraged community members to attend different political rallies so that they make an informed especially on who to vote for in the tripartite elections.
“Let me also appeal to traditional leaders to level the playing field and ensure that all political aspirants are given equal opportunity to conduct campaign rallies without any intimidation,” Simfukwe emphasized.
In his remarks, Group Village Headman Kesinala commended NICE for organizing the awareness campaign and also for providing his subjects with information on how to conduct themselves both before and after the elections.
“Sometimes people are discouraged to participate in voting because they feel it is not important. We are very grateful to NICE for sharing with us this useful information. It is my hope that many people will take part in the forthcoming elections,” GVH Kesinala said.
GVH Kesinala, however, appealed to NICE to continue engaging the community on various issues of national importance.
During the meeting, communities were also informed that voter registration exercise in Blantyre would start on August 16 and end on August 29.-MANA