By Yankho Phiri – Mana.
Blind and Deaf people living in Kasungu on Wednesday advised Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to supply enough tactile voting materials in all centers in the district in the forth coming Presidential elections.
Speaking during a meeting which Kasungu District Peace Committee (DPC) organized to update its stakeholders on the progress of its activities, one of the members in the committee who represents the Deaf and the Blind, Ishmael Chisale expressed concern over the lack of braile voting materials.
He said a lot of blind and deaf people in some parts of Kasungu did not cast their vote in the last tripartite elections due to lack of braille voting materials.
“As a representative of blind people here in Kasungu, I was very much concerned after receiving reports from my colleagues that they did not vote in most of the centers because MEC supplied a few tactile voting materials in the centers.
“For instance at Chilanga school for the blind the commission only supplied a few of our voting materials leaving a lot of people out yet they know that the place has got more deaf and blind people,” said Chisale.
He urged the commission to supply enough braille voting materials in all centers so that they also fully take part.
Commenting on the matter District Elections Clerk for Kasungu, Sydney Banda said the commission had enough tactile voting materials but they failed to allocate the materials to areas with more people who needed it as it had no proper statistics of the centers with high number of blind and deaf people in the district.
“Almost every election year, the commission produces enough Braille voting materials but in the last tripartite election we did not have good records of deaf and blind people in the centers that’s why we faced the Challenge,” said Banda.
He assured the blind that they will no longer face the same challenge in this coming presidential election if they provide his office with proper statistics in all the centers.
Meanwhile, Chairperson for Kasungu district peace committee, Hastings Kalima commended police and party representatives for their effort in fighting violence and establishing peace in most rioting areas in the district.
“As district peace committee, we are very much thankful to party representatives and our police in establishing peace in the district as our main goal which has made us register big progress over the years we have been working,” he said.
Kasungu district peace committee was established four years ago as a peace piloting project under the office of President and Cabinet.