The Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) has launched nationwide training sessions for 1 500 party monitors, with a call for them to be vigilant against rigging during the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
Already, the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has instituted an investigation into rigging allegations that President Peter Mutharika, who is Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) torchbearer and Vice-President Saulos Chilima have been making during their campaign.
Speaking after the launch in Chitipa on Monday, CMD executive officer Kizito Tenthani said well-trained party monitors have the capacity to safeguard the vote in case others try to manipulate the results.
He said: “Our aim is for monitors to understand that each and every method of rigging can be controlled by being vigilant monitors. And our emphasis is on a document called results sheet that political parties ought to safeguard and protect because that’s where the results will be tallied.”
Tenthani said the monitors are being trained in electoral integrity, how to safeguard the vote, party process, polling day procedure and submission of complaints.
“Our aim is to ensure that we have well-trained party monitors, specifically those who will be stationed at the constituency tally centre. We are giving them necessary skills to be able to do the job that they are supposed to do.
But also, we are trying to challenge monitors that they should not only talk about rigging without thinking about solutions,” he said.
One of the monitors, Kondwani Mnyenyembe from Chitipa Wenya Constituency, said the training equipped them with techniques to counter any manipulation during the elections.
“The training has come at the right time when fears of the elections being rigged have become an everyday song,” he said.
With funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), CMD is expected to conduct party monitors training nationwide as one way of ensuring transparency and accountability during the elections.