Written by RAPHAEL TENTHANI
I do not understand the fuss about how names should be framed on the ballot paper.
The Electoral Commission has suggested that we should bring sanity to the ballot by properly identifying candidates. The commission says candidates must be listed by their surnames and whatever other names – or nick names – they choose to give themselves is their business.
But it seems this is causing sleepless nights to some parties.
C’mon, what’s in a name?
I know political parties think the majority of Malawian voters are so gullible they would vote for whoever name is on top of the ballot. That is why most parties try as much as they can to devise candidate names – or nick names – that would push them way up on the ballot.
So the letters A, B, C and D become the most-sought-after; you will find crazy monikers as Amayi, Ababa, Atate, Angoni fighting on the ballot.
But this is childish, if I may call a spade by its Christian name!
Do you really want to get votes out of people’s ignorance? Would you enjoy your time in State House if you went there courtesy of people’s ignorance?
Let Joyce Banda be Joyce Banda, not ‘Abiti’, on the ballot; let John Tembo be John Tembo, not ‘Ababa’; indeed let Peter Mutharika be Peter Mutharika, not ‘Atate’.
Malawians are not daft to vote for monikers that mean nothing; nearly two decades in multiparty democracy Malawians – most of them – are able to see who is the cheat and who is the real deal.
Names ain’t nothing but names!