The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says traditional and religious leaders are crucial in ensuring that the commission delivers credible and peaceful October 26 by-elections.
Speaking in an interview after a series of meetings with traditional and religious leaders in Mzimba East Constituency, MEC commissioner Anthony Mukumbwa said the commission is concerned with voter apathy in by-elections.
He said: “We are meeting these traditional and religious leaders to help us woo their subjects to go and vote on October 26 and choose a candidate of their choice.”
Mukumbwa called on the leaders to ensure that political parties, candidates and supporters are conducting peaceful campaigns and that they are following Covid-19 preventive measures.
In a separate interview, Inkosi Kampingo Sibande said chiefs in the area will do their part by informing people to go and vote.
“So far, there have been no acts of violence, as local leaders, we are following the campaign closely,” he said.
Pastor Blessings Phiri of Assemblies of God in Eswazini said they will take advantage of church meetings to tell people about the by-election.
The commission is scheduled to hold a by-election in the Mzimba East Constituency following the death of the area’s legislator Wezzie Gondwe (independent) a month ago.
Six candidates; Wachepa Phiri of Alliance for Democracy, Reuben Ngwenya (Independent), John Phiri of Freedom Party, Christopher Munyenyembe, representing UTM Party, Donnex Muva of Malawi Congress Party and Wesley Kumwenda of Democratic Progressive Party are set to contest for the Mzimba East Constituency seat.