Local Government by-elections take place

Voting in Local government by elections is underway in five wards across the country.

Our reporter in Zomba Cassim Kajosolo said voting process started well in all three polling stations in the city’s central ward as they opened at exactly 6 O’clock.

Kajosolo said by half past 6 there were ten voters at Likangala secondary school centre, 8 had voted at Zomba Community Centre ground and during the opening time ten voters were at Mponda primary school.

In her remarks presiding officer for Likangala Secondary school centre Catherine Wahera expressed hope of a large turn-out.

Ndindase Mandinda Ng’oma presiding officer for Zomba Community Centre Ground said the turnout is low as compared to tripartite elections but was optimistic that it would improve.

“People who are contesting in Zomba central ward are Mounira Abdula on Independent ticket, Prisca Golozera of Malawi Congress Party, Meria Douglas of Democratic Progressive party, Wilknes Nakanga of People’s party, Harry Mningwa of MAFUNDE and Debora Walani on independent ticket,” said Ng’oma and Wahera.

Meanwhile, voting Luchenza Primary School has been delayed by 15 minutes following misunderstandings between monitors and poling staff.

Luchenza Municipal Council Director of Administration Victoria Wane explained that some monitors wanted to check names with the election clerk who has been assigned to verify eligible voters amid fears that he may give room to non-eligible voters to cast ballots.

“The situation was normalized because the commissioner who was around at the time of opening intervened and reasoned with them,” disclosed Wane.

Commissioner Stanley Billiati confirmed that the voting exercise started a bit late because of the misunderstanding.

Commissioner Billiati advised them that “the law does not allow monitors to tamper with the voting process but should observe from a distance.”

However, a mutual agreement was agreed that when one comes to vote the clerk should mention his or her name aloud so that monitors are able to confirm the person by the name.

Commissioner Biliati said the misunderstanding came because monitors did not turn up during verification exercise after MEC appealed for their presence at the registration centre.

At least 29 voters had already cast their ballot by 7 am and at least 522 eligible voters are expected to cast their votes.

Five people are competing in Luchenza ward and they are James Stenala for Malawi Congress Party, Joseph Khoromana and Mercy Luwanda independent candidates, Henderson Sipuni for Democratic Progressive Party and Dorothy Mbayani of People’s Party.

Local government by-elections are also taking place in Msikisi ward Mangochi, Chibanja ward Mzuzu and Khwawa ward Karonga.

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