People from Kalonga Village in Mangochi have proposed the institution of legal instruments empowering them to conduct periodic assessment of the performance of their elected leaders.
The electorate expressed their concern at Msikisi Ward in the district when the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust held a meeting aimed at encouraging them to cast their votes on August 25 this year to elect a new councillor following the death of the ward’s council representative Peter Senga.
One of the electorate, Florence Idrissa said the absence of legal provisions providing powers to the voter to evaluate politicians is undermining efforts to consolidate democracy in the country.
Idrissa observed that civil society organisations (CSOs) and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) fell short of giving voters legitimate powers to measure the performance of the elected leaders, including the President.
Said Idrissa: “We feel you are betraying us by mobilising us to cast our ballots without providing us instruments to monitor leaders we put in power. Every five years we go and vote en masse, but we do not see the fruits of electing the leaders.
“Like any well-meaning and minded investor, voters should be given powers to assess the people they put into positions of leadership.
“This will help us avoid putting wrong people into positions of leadership during elections that follow, otherwise we are sick and tired of these submarine politicians who only come to us when they need us, but run away when we need them.”
But reacting to the concerns, Nice regional civic education officer Christopher Naphiyo encouraged the electorate not to boycott the polls, stressing that by not taking part in the vote, they will also lose out.
He said: “If you do not participate in the elections you sometimes allow the wrong candidate to win.”