“To be honest, most of us are monitors only because we are loyal to our political parties, we never fully understood our roles in elections monitoring. Thanks to CMD for organizing these trainings. We are getting out of this place fully equipped to represent our parties during forth coming Fresh Presidential Election”, admitted Ken Mzembe, a party representative who attended the training of political party representatives at Mzimba North District Education Manager’s offices.
The training sessions which were facilitated by the Centre for Multiparty Democracy from the 16th to 21st of June 2020 targeted monitors in readiness for their role in monitoring the Fresh Presidential Elections. For an election that came out of court battles following the disputed 2019 Tripartite Election, the stakes are so high and the role of monitors becomes so paramount. One of the participants feels in some cases they might not have done a very good job in the nullified election because they had insufficient knowledge of the process.
“This training is an eye opener to all of us because the knowledge we have gained today will not only help us serve our parties well but also help give the process of elections the integrity it deserves. As a result of lack of knowledge, some of us ended up making interventions that had the effect of derailing the processes” said Kennedy Njakama of DPP/UDF Alliance member who attended the training in Nkhotakota
“I personally have not participated in monitoring elections, the coming elections are my first and with this training, I am very confident that I will perform very well for my party” added Witness Sefasi of Salima North Constituency.
The training sessions which were conducted in all the districts of the country save for Lilongwe, Zomba, Likoma and Chiradzulo reached out to 611 (496 male and 115 females) party representatives who are expected to be deployed to district tally centers. The party representatives were drawn from the DPP and its alliance partner of UDF and MCP and its alliance partners of AFORD, Freedom Party, MAFUNDE, Petra, PP, PPM, Umodzi and UTM.
Participants to these trainings were taken through a number of topics bordering on electoral integrity, roles of monitors in an election, election procedure, vote tallying and procedure for submitting complaints.
The trainings were conducted with financial support from a basket fund managed by the UNDP under the Malawi Electoral Cycle project which CMD is implementing in partnership with the Malawi Electoral Commission.