After the passing away of President Professor Bingu wa Mutharika President Mutharika of Malawi in April, 2012 the presidential title was taken over by former Vice-President Joyce Banda. With the Tripartite Elections scheduled for 2014, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) will be expected to conduct voter registration in July, 2013.
As Malawi will be conducting the first ever Tripartite Elections the International IDEA and the African Union with the financial support of GIZ organized two 5 days back to back BRIDGE trainings on Voter registration for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC). The first workshop took place from April, 29th to May 3rd 2013 in Mangochi (Southern Region of Malawi)(Northern Malawi) and the second workshop was organized from May 6th to May10th 2013 in Lilongwe – Political Capital City of Malawi (Central Region of Malawi).
The Voter Registration module covered such aspects as:
• Why have Voter Registration
• Guiding Principles of Voter Registration
• Electoral Cycle approach to Voter Registration
• Factors influencing the choice of Voter Registration system
• Elements of a good voter register
• Operational framework for Voter Registry
Fifty Eight participants attended the two Voter Registration workshops in Mangochi and Lilongwe. They represented different levels of MEC: Commissioners, Directors, Chief Officers and Managers, Accountants, Officers, Assistant Officers and District Elections Clerks.
These trainings enabled the participants to acquire the tools and knowledge to produce a quality voter register for Malawi in 2013. In addition, they came to understand the importance of auditing the voters’ roll on a regular basis which is not practiced in Malawi.
In the course of the training, the participants who only represented 45% of the District Election Clerks nation-wide pleaded that their colleagues who did not participate in the workshop should be given an opportunity to be considered in future.
Participants shared specific problems they encountered on Voter Registration in the past elections.
Two facilitation teams conducted the trainings. They were both led by Mr Ibrahima Amadou Niang from the West Africa office of International IDEA. Other members of the team were: Harris Potani, Thandi Nkovole, Wellingtone Kantantha, King Norman Rudi, Rebecca Chisamya, Alice Langwani, Dennis Mndala, Deverson Makwete and Lydia Luwanika.
At the end of the Lilongwe workshop Deverson Makwete, Lydia Luwanika, Dennis Mndala, Alice Langwani and Rebecca Chisamya received their certificate of full accreditation as BRIDGE workshop facilitators.