By Patricia Mtungila, MEC Stringer
Despite a smooth nomination week in Mzuzu, only one woman, Mercy Mbezuma Mfune of Alliance for Democracy (Aford) submitted her nomination forms to contest as Member of Parliament for Mzuzu City Constituency.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Constituency Returning Officer for Mzuzu City, Rebecca Chirwa said by close of business on Friday 94 people had submitted their nominations for seat of Councilors of which 79 are men and 15 for females.
“For MP, we had 11 candidates; 10 men and one lady from AFORD but one other lady did not return her forms. The whole exercise has gone on well although there were some hiccups in filling the forms as people were making mistakes on the number on the national ID and the MEC voter certificate number,” Chirwa said.
The aspiring female candidate, Mfune, who is contesting for the second time, said she has had enough time to reposition herself and is hopeful to clinch the Parliamentary seat.
Some leaders of political parties have admitted that more needs to be done to support women to attain the country’s goals on women in political leadership.
Of the 15 aspiring female councilors who have submitted their nomination forms, two are from the People’s Party (PP), three from the DPP, the United Democratic Front (UDF) has one woman while Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has two and some from the UTM.
Speaking for the MCP, the North-South Regional chairman Gracious Mafeni Soko said MCP would work to address the low number of women participating as candidates in future elections.
“As a party we are not doing enough,“ he said. “It is a process that cannot be done in a day but we know that wherever we have gone wrong, we are going to correct it.
Mzuzu City’s only elected female Councilor, Judith Chiume, who was compelled to step aside in contesting for a seat as an MP giving way to her PP to field Justice Chimaliro, said that although she would contest again as Councilor, the country still has a long way to go to attain more women in political leadership positions.