Artists in the Northern Region have threatened to boycott voter and civic education for the forthcoming elections, alleging the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has not given them money meant for the exercise.
But MEC has dismissed the allegation, saying accredited institutions are supposed to find their own resources to fund their voter education exercises.
Director for Katoto Mvalenji Drama Group Sam Sambo said about 26 arts groups in the North were auditioned, trained and given certificates to conduct civic and voter education for 2014 Tripartite Elections.
But since then, they have been waiting from MEC to fund their activities.
“But MEC told us that they won’t fund our activities because they do not have finances due to the cash-gate. But what is surprising is that our friends in other regions were given money to do the exercise.
“If our friends were funded, why not us? We want to know the truth because we have lost our time, energy and resources in preparing for the voter and civic education exercise. We feel that they have breached the contract we entered into,” said Sambo.
But MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the artists’ grievances and allegations were unfounded because MEC does not fund institutions to conduct voter education.
“Accreditation does not mean that they should demand funding from MEC. We trained them so that their messages should be in line with our message. But they need to fund themselves,” he said.
But he was quick to say MEC sometimes engages bands to conduct voter education at a fee.
The artists who visited NPL represented Mpoto Wafika Drama Group, Pase Theatre Company, Kukaya Cultural Troop, Katoto Mvalenji Drama Group and Kadundulu Wailers.