Polling underway in Lilongwe as people patronize centres

Written by  Gladys Nthenda

As poling is underway in six wards and constituencies around the country Lilongwe’s Mtsiriza Ward constituency where people are electing a councilor to represent them woke up early in the morning to exercise their constitutional right.

17
October


According to Roseby Makina Presiding Officer at Mtsiriza Ward the exercise kicked off very well with people patronizing the centre as early as 5 o’clock in the morning.
“As you can see the queues are long and we expect more people to be coming as the day progresses,” explained Makina.


She however said there was a delay and voting started around 6:20 am which she attributed to logistical challenges as they had to verify materials received on Monday with party monitors.
“For the sake of transparency we had to check the material again and confirm that everything is intact. After that it’s when we started voting,” stated the Presiding Officer.


With a total number of 7623 registered voters Mtsiriza has 3 candidates contesting for the position of a councilor.
Brighton Golombe is representing the United Democratic Front (UDF) while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is represented by Julio Jumbe and Kinwell Zikaola is for the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).


The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has engaged 793 temporary staff to help run the polls in all the centres to ensure that the by-elections run smoothly and are a success.
According to a statement by MEC Chair Justice Jane Ansah persons with special needs such as those living with albinism expectant mothers the sick elderly and those with disabilities are not supposed to queue shall be helped with priority.


To enable persons with visual impairment cast their votes on their own the statement quoted Ansah saying the Commission will provide tactile ballot templates for them.
For ease of access to wheelchair users or those with mobility challenges to all the stages of the polling process the Commission stated that polling will be outside and not in classrooms.


Justice Ansah also assured registered voters who lost or damaged their certificates not to despair as they will still be assisted to vote if their names will be found in the voters’ roll.
The electoral body is expected to announce official results in Blantyre on Wednesday

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