Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Chifundo Kachale has bemoaned low turnout in voter registration and verification centres in Karonga North West ahead of the March 30 by-election.
He expressed the sentiments at Maghemo Secondary School registration centre on Wednesday after inspecting five centres in Chilanga and Rukuru wards in the constituency.
Kachale, a judge of the High Court of Malawi, said: “Unlike in Nsanje and Chikwawa, the situation in Karonga is worrisome. The turnout is not encouraging.
“At Maghemo, out of the projected 4 000 voters, only 180 have verified their names in the voters’ roll.”
However, party leaders have attributed the low turnout to little time given to prepare for the by-election and the farming season.
UTM Party publicity secretary Frank Mwenifumbo said they will mobilise voters to register and verify their names.
Malawi Congress Party Karonga district chairperson Emmanuel Nkhoma said they will also intensify voter registration campaign to reduce voter apathy.
But Democratic Progressive Party deputy regional governor (North) Smart Mwakayira blamed MEC, saying it did not give parties time to prepare.
Karonga District National Initiative for Civic Education Trust civic education officer Christobel Munthali said her office will join MEC mobilising people to register and verify their names.