Electoral stakeholders from Ntchisi and Dowa districts have been asked to desist from flouting procedures in the voter registration exercise currently underway in some districts to avoid triggering misunderstandings.
The call was made on Friday at Chibanzi centre in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Msakambewa in Dowa district during a joint ad hoc meeting for multiparty liaison committees from the two districts.
The meeting was convened after reports emerged that one of the aspirants for the Dowa North East constituency parliamentary seat, Annie Makuta on July 16,2018 ferried people from Ntchisi district, her paternal home to register in the constituency which is her maternal home, where she wants to contest on a United Transformation Movement (UTM) ticket.
The meeting gave chance to the incumbent parliamentarian, Sam Kawale of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) aspirant, Alice Ntodwa Mwale, the police, political party monitors, traditional authority Masakambewa and Makuta herself to give their reports on the incident.
It was established that the people were indeed, ferried from Ntchisi to register in the constituency.
It was learnt during the meeting that some of the people registered at Chibanzi and Mtandawagalu centres in the constituency while four people were sent back according to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) monitor at Chibanzi centre, Alfred Sinoya.
Sinoya said at first, the people claimed to be from the constituency but after some interrogations they disclosed that they were actually from Ntchisi and decided to register in Dowa to garner support to their relation who is contesting in Dowa.
During the meeting which was co-chaired by Ntchisi District Commissioner James Manyetera and Dowa District Commissioner, Alex Mdoko, Makuta who confirmed having ferried the people from Ntchisi to the constituency was faulted for not following procedures.
She was found to have flouted procedures by hurling insults to registration staff at a registration centre, when she had come to enquire why some of the people were not allowed to register.
“Ferrying voters from one district is not allowed, people are supposed to register where they are residing or where they come from. An election is a competition and there is need to level the playing field otherwise any mistake can trigger a misunderstanding,” Manyetera said.
The meeting faulted monitors from Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) and political parties for letting some of the people to register instead of reporting immediately to relevant stakeholders.
Kawale was faulted for sending back the people after he had been alerted about their intentions to register in the constituency.
“You should have reported the issue to Dowa District Commissioner or any other relevant stakeholder and not sending people back as it discourages other potential and eligible registrants.
Despite being the parliamentarian for the area, you do not have such powers,” said Manyetera pointed out.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is conducting phase two of the voter registration exercise for the 2019 tripartite elections in Ntchisi, Dowa, Nkhotakota and Mchinji districts from July 13 to 26, 2018.