By Joshua Mphanda, MEC Stringer
The alleged illegal gold mining in Group Village Headman Katondo, T/A Mazengela is hindering voter registration in the area with most centres recording low numbers of registrants as of day 10 of voter registration.
T/A Mazengela which falls under Lilongwe Mpenu constituency has recorded only 40 % of the projected figures sparking fears of voter apathy, a problem which has been attributed to the discovery of gold deposits.
The revelation came when the Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson, Jane Ansah, inspected registration centres in the area.
A visit to the site by the MEC chairperson found almost the entire village mining in the field supposed to contain gold.
“The turn out is not very encouraging. In this area, what has affected voter registration is the ongoing gold mining. People are just mining gold and they are not registering. For instance, we promised to give a k1000 note to whoever could produce a voter certificate at the mining site but none of them could,” said Ansah.
She said this will have a huge bearing since most people won’t be able to register and cast their vote in the 2019 tripartite elections.
Speaking in an interview, one of the miners, Basikolo Roma who came all the way from Ntcheu described the discovery of gold in the area as a blessing.
“it’s been a huge relief for us and we are able to fend for ourselves when we sell the gold,” said Roma.
He revealed that they sell the gold for MK25,000 per gram once found.
The development has since affected 8 centres in T/A mazengela.