MEC Under Fire on Constituency, Ward Demarcation.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has come under fire on constituency demarcation exercise which is currently
underway as a preparation for the 2025 tripartite elections.
This came to light at the interface meeting held in Zomba.
Chiefs and communities in the district complained of what they call a poor demarcation of the constituencies and
wards in the district.
Senior Chief Mlumbe, said lack of consultation is the main factor that has led to the mess.
He said chiefs in the district were not consulted as such MEC does not know the vastness of some areas.
“We were not consulted on the demarcation as they did it themselves without proper research, that’s why we are complaining,” said senior Chief Mlumbe.
Member of Parliament for Zomba Chingale, Lonnie Phiri, expressed worry over the combining of part of Zomba
Lisanjala to Chingale which she said it will be an uphill task to develop the area.
“It looks like we will have nine constituencies in Zomba district, and Zomba Lisanjala has been combined to Chingale. This is worrisome as the area is very big for one constituency,” said Phiri.
She said Zomba Chingale is a difficult area as it has a poor road network and also it is a hilly area which deserves to
be a standalone constituency.
Phiri asked the commission to go back and do a proper survey using all the systems like geographical position of the
area and communication challenges as stipulated in the guidelines and not based on population only.
Peter Chipanga, a social commentator, expressed concerned over the way MEC has done the exercise.
He said the commission should be doing things in mutual consultation with relevant stakeholders in discharging its
duties to avoid disagreements.
“Doing work like this will need more consultation. Chiefs are part and parcel of MEC’s stakeholders. MEC should have consulted them before embarking on the demarcation exercise. As such MEC should go back to their drawing board and reconsider these complaints,” said Chipanga.
In his response on the matter MEC Commissioner, Francis Kasaila said the commission will look into all the grievances of concerned people regarding the constituency and ward demarcation which is underway in the country.
Commissioner Kasaila assured Zomba chiefs and political leaders that the Commission is conducting these meetings is to fill up gaps before coming with a final conclusion on constituency and ward demarcation.
Kasaila said people should not panic as all the complaints from the general public are being looked into by the Commission.
He said after compiling the complaints, the Commission will send the report to Parliament for the deliberations.
“We will produce a report on this to Parliament, and we expect Members of Parliament to deliberate and give us
direction on the matter,” said Kasaila.
Kasaila added that the 2025 tripartite elections has a projection of about 10 million voters.
The growing population is one of the factors government reflected on demarcating the constituencies to have probably equal number of voters per constituency.
About 29 constituencies will be added in the coming 2025 elections to the existing 199.