Written by Collings Kalivute:
The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE TRUST) has urged political parties in the country to establish deliberate guidelines accommodating aspiring women candidates for the upcoming 2025 general elections.
NICE TRUST Kasungu District Civic Education Officer, Pilirani Chaguza, points out that handouts negatively impact women’s participation in politics and has committed to intensifying advocacy against handouts in the lead-up to the general elections.
“As NICE Trust, we strongly condemn the practice of distributing handouts, recognizing its detrimental impact on women’s participation in politics. We have implemented various measures to raise awareness among the public about the negative effects of handouts,” stated Chaguza.
He therefore urged all aspiring candidates to align their manifestos with Vision 2063, emphasizing the importance of fostering mindset change among the citizenry as a key enabler.
Despite the efforts, Mwambilazo Mbedza, a prominent woman in politics Kasungu district and the district’s Council Chairperson, appeals to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to enforce electoral laws on handouts.
“As women in politics, we earnestly plead with the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to enforce the laws that have been enacted and to impose bans on those engaged in such malpractices,” she emphasized.
Mbedza has called on electoral stakeholders to intensify awareness campaigns on the matter.
In 2018, Malawi enacted a new law that bans politicians from dishing out cash handouts and other incentives during campaigns, but politicians seem not to abide by the law.