National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust has urged people with disabilities in Blantyre to register and vote in next year’s tripartite elections.
Speaking during the meeting organised for people with disabilities at Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) in Blantyre on Wednesday, Nice Blantyre Urban district civic education officer Henrie Gwedeza said people with disabilities have the same rights as everybody else.
“We want those with visual impairments, hearing challenges and other physical challenges not only to vote but contest in the forthcoming tripartite elections. They should not look down upon themselves, but exercise their democratic rights by contesting as councillors, legislators and even president,” he said.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) constituency civic education assistant Khadeeja Nankwenya said registration exercise in Blantyre will take place between August 16 and 29.
She encouraged people to register to vote or contest in the 2019 elections.
Malawi Union for the Blind (MUB) Blantyre Urban chairperson Enwood Tchaungwe said the blind were in the past voting for wrong candidates because some people were taking advantage of their situation.
He urged MEC to address the situation.
Disability Rights Organisation Movement (Drom) director Elizabeth Machinjiri said physically challenged people are reluctant to vote because they feel discriminated against.
“People that are voted into power do not bother about the physically challenged. This is why they do not see the need to vote,” she said.
Blantyre Nice has stepped up meetings to encourage people to register and vote during next year’s elections.n