Residents at Jenda Trading Centre in Mzimba have appealed to providers of civic and voter education to open a library at the market to facilitate easy access to electoral-related information by registered voters.
Speaking in an interview over the weekend, one of the concerned registered voters, Lucky Msiska, said people at the centre are struggling to access electoral-related information.
Msiska said lack of access to information on the May 20 Tripartite Elections could prevent some people from actively participating in the elections, thereby negatively impacting the credibility of the outcome of the elections.
“How do we make an informed decision on who to vote for in the absence of information? If a library is expensive to establish, we appeal to providers of civic and voter education to open an election information centre, which can serve us until the polling day and close it afterwards,” he said.
Chatsalira Phiri of Chimsang’aza Village in the area of sub-Traditional Authority (STA) Levi Jere commended Nation Publications Limited (NPL) for distributing a Tilitonse-funded paper, Fuko, which he said is the only means through which locals access information on crucial issues, including governance.
“Civic and voter education rallies are not enough. We also need to read for ourselves what the aspirants are promising through the press,” said Phiri.
In an emailed interview, Nice Trust regional civic education officer for the North, Enoch Chinkhuntha, disclosed that opening of libraries in rural as well as hard-to-reach areas is at the core of his organisation’s civic and voter education programmes.
Chinkhuntha said Nice Trust already plans to open an election information centre at Jenda, but was only waiting to identify a proper structure for the project.