The European Union through Democratic Governance Program funded the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to conduct BRIDGE course on Civic Education/Voter Information and Electoral Contestants combined modules.This 5-day BRIDGE Course was held at the old capital city of Malawi on the foot of Zomba Mountain at Annie’s Lodge, Zomba District from 19th to 23rd November, 2012. It comprised District Election Clerks from the southern region and two District Election Clerks from the central region.
The workshop was officially opened by Commissioner Gloria Chingota, a member of the Committee on Civic and Voter Education in MEC. She encouraged the participants to take the workshop very seriously and participate in all activities with caution within the five days.
In total there were 27 participants, 23 males and 4 females. The participants developed a code of conduct at the beginning of the course in order to enhance the training to progress well and this really assisted the participants as well as facilitators in the delivery of the three modules. The participants have been with MEC for about 9 to 12 years and have vast experience in managing elections in the district councils but had not been trained in any BRIDGE module(s). This was their first BRIDGE Course.
The main objective of the course was to enhance their professional development as electoral managers in the councils; focusing on the practical aspect of civic education/voter information which form the integral part of electoral processes. The District Election Clerks deal with electoral contestants during elections and are members of the Multiparty Liaison Committees in the councils hence the inclusion of the electoral contestants module in the training.
Five BRIDGE facilitators participated in the preparation and delivery of the course as follows:
1. Thandie Nkovole – Activity Coordinator, Workshop Facilitator and Director of Civic Education and Voter Information
2. Kate Mjojo – Workshop Facilitator and Lead Facilitator
3. Gellien Tembo – Workshop Facilitator
4. Lydia Luwanika – Semi-accredited facilitator
5. Dennis Mndala – Semi-accredited facilitator
At the end of the course participants expressed their sincere gratitude to the European Union, MEC management and facilitators for providing such an important training. The workshop was officially closed by Commissioner Gloria Chingota who presented certificates to the participants.