By Watipaso Mzungu, Contributor
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has described the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) as being the most vibrant institution in disseminating civic and voter education as Malawians prepare for the tripartite elections scheduled for May 21, 2019.
MEC chairperson responsible for Civic and Voter Education Committee, Moffat Banda, has also reiterated the need for civil society and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to partner the electoral body in raising awareness to all Malawians about the importance of the forthcoming polls.
Banda made the remarks when he opened a day-long training for creative artists and actors at the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).
“MEC is happy to have organizations like NICE, which are always doing a good job. With NICE on the ground and with their well-established structures across the country, we are assured that we will achieve the best. If we had more organizations like NICE, we would easily reach out to all Malawians through its structures across the nation,” Banda said.
Thus, the Commissioner urged artists to use their talents to disseminate information on elections.
NICE Public Trust executive director, Ollen Mwalubunju, said his organisation has teamed up with MBC to utilise the popular soap operas such as Pamajiga, Sewero La Sabata Ino and Nzeru Nkupangwato to effectively contribute to voter mobilisation and, in a way, reduce the number of null and void votes.
“As NICE Trust, we use the radio has the most outreach in Malawi according to research. To reach to more Malawians we felt we should work with these popular soap operas which are in the national language, Chichewa,” Mwalubunju said.
The training attracted 35 artists from Pamajiga, Sewero La Sabata Ino and Nzeru Nkupangwa who were trained on skills and information on electoral procedures, the role of voters and all key issues in the elections.