By Enock Balakasi
The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) publicist Nicholas Dausi exchanged barbs on Tuesday at a high level National Election Consultative Forum meeting in Lilongwe over who is to blame for the low turn out for the registration exercise.
As the stakeholders heaped blame on MEC for lack of intensive civic education, Dausi put the blame squarely on the MCP for its failure to civic educate its supporters.
“The MCP failed to civic educate its supporters in Kasungu, Dedza and Salima. They should have taken advantage of funerals to sensitize people the need to go and register so that they vote.
” They should have held meetings with traditional leaders and church leaders to tell their subjects and faithful respectively to go and register, ” said Dausi.
However, this annoyed Mkaka who said Dausi had no power to speak on behalf of MEC.
Mkaka and Peoples Secretary general Ibrahim Matola in protest walked out the meeting saying Dausi has no mandate to speak on behalf of ME.
MCP pressed MEC to consider reopening the registration exercise in the first phase districts where thousands of people failed to register.
“We would urge MEC to reconsider and commit to reopening voter registration in these areas,” said MCP secretary general.
However MEC ruled out extension of the registration in the three districts, saying this would affect the MEC calendar as well as the budget for the elections.
Meanwhile, Phase two of the registration exercise started on Friday in Mchinji, Dowa, Ntchisi and Nkhotakota and so far the turnout seems promising.