Mangochi: District Commissioner for Mangochi, Reverend Moses Chimphepo has appealed to political parties in the district to open up for more women to compete in the forthcoming 2019 tripartite elections.
Chimphepo made the appeal on Tuesday during a Multi-Party Liaison Committee (MPLC) meeting aimed at briefing political parties on the electoral process.
The DC, who is chairperson for MPLC, said low representation of women at local government level and in parliament in the district was evidence that the political landscape was not leveled to allow equal women participation.
I plead with you all district governors to encourage and support more women to participate in these elections; don’t discourage them, said Chimphepo, adding: I am making this appeal to political party district governors because you can influence decisions at district level and drum support for women.
Chimphepo also hailed political parties for holding peaceful local government by-elections in April and he prayed for similar experience in the 2019 general elections.
Chairperson for District Peace Committee, Sheikh Ali Makalani concurred with Chimphepo, saying the Islamic religion ‘does not prohibit women from participating in political leadership, noting that instead it prohibits women from playing a leading role in prayers or any religious activities before men.’
Out of 12 members of parliament the district has, only two, Aisha Mambo and Lillian Patel are women. On the other hand, out of 34 councilors from both district and town, only one is a female.
The MPLC meeting drew district governors from all political parties available in the district including Democratic Progressive Party, United Democratic Front, People’s Party and Malawi Congress Party.
Malawi Electoral Commission Officer for Mangochi, Roderick Kazembe urged political parties to field monitors who are competent and capable of following the electoral process to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
Kazembe also announced that voters’ registration would be conducted from September 19 to October 2 in all the district’s 261 centres and that national ID registration would also be conducted in the centres at the same time to ensure that no Malawian is left out in the voters’ registration exercise.
The meeting also discussed a twenty-two-point code of conduct that all parties agreed on at an earlier meeting coordinated by the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust.
The code of conduct lists the dos and don’ts that all political parties in the district are expected to follow during the tripartite elections to ensure that polls were conducted peacefully, freely and fairly.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA