Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has emphasized the need for journalists to assume a pivotal role in raising awareness and disseminating the new electoral laws ahead of the 2025 tripartite elections.
MEC Chairperson Judge Dr. Chifundo Kachale said since elections are not isolated events, but rather part of an electoral cycle, media coverage of electoral issues should not be confined to specific periods.
Kachale made the remarks in Mponela on Thursday during a sensitization workshop on new electoral laws and holding of by-elections.
The MEC Chairperson acknowledged that the media plays a crucial role in providing ongoing coverage of boundary review, establishment of registration centres, voter registration, candidate campaigns, political debates, and polling day activities.
“By maintaining a sustained focus on electoral issues, we ensure that citizens are well-informed and engaged at every stage of the electoral process. This workshop holds tremendous significance as it allow the participants to deepen understanding of the electoral laws that govern our electoral processes,” he said.
Kachale stated that the electoral laws provide the framework for conducting free, fair, and transparent elections, ensuring that the will of the people is accurately reflected in the democratic process.
He therefore stressed that it should be a collective responsibility to become well-versed in the laws and to effectively communicate their provisions to the citizenry.
“The Commission appreciates the media as a vital platform for building an informed and engaged electorate. One of the critical steps in ensuring widespread awareness and understanding of electoral laws is through sensitizing media managers and senior editorial staff. The media plays a pivotal role as the bridge between information and the public. By equipping media managers with in-depth knowledge of the new electoral laws, we empower them to effectively communicate accurate and reliable information to the public. This, in turn, strengthens the foundations of our democracy, enabling citizens to make informed decisions and actively participate in the electoral process,” he said.
Turning to the September 2025 General Elections, Kachale saidit was imperative that stakeholders start working on implementing electoral radio programmes and mass media messaging around elections.
He challenged the media to start developing programmes around elections in readiness for the polls.
“Elections are a cycle and we expect the media to also embrace the electoral cycle philosophy. I challenge you if you started a programme about elections there will be something every week for you to cover. The Commission itself has been running a newspaper column for 10 years now and every Wednesday there is something new to write about elections,” said the MEC Chairperson.