Confusion ensued on Thursday at Sandton Hall in Mzimba when the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) engaged stakeholders to deliberate on the added number of constituencies in the district.
During the meeting, MEC technical team proposed scenarios which would incorporate an additional constituency to increase the number of constituencies in the district from 11 to 12.
However, stakeholders, who included traditional authorities, ward councillors and representatives of various political parties raised concerns on why Mzimba, which is the biggest district in Malawi, was allocated only one additional constituency.
After a lengthy deliberation, MEC Commissioner Caroline Mfune clarified the matter, saying the official number of constituencies in Mzimba is 13.
“It is just unfortunate that the technical team had a figure of 12. This is why I came to monitor the process,” she said.
Inkosi Mabilabo said an increase of two constituencies was better than one.
He, however, said MEC should rely on community members rather than politicians in its consultative process.
MEC is reviewing constituency and ward boundaries nationwide and has created 35 additional constituencies from the current 193.
The commission says the number of constituencies is determined by the projected number of eligible voters (people that will be 18 years and above) in 2025 and other factors such as population density, geographical features, administrative boundaries and ease of communication.