Since last week, staff and volunteers from CHREAA have been traveling across the Southern Region of Malawi, educating prisoners on how to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming tripartite elections on May 21. So far we have visited prisons in locations including Chichiri in Blantyre, Thyolo, Makande, Chikwawa, Zomba, Mangochi and Domasi. We will be conducting educational sessions with prisoners throughout this week and into the next.
On our visit to Chichiri Prison last week, Executive Director Victor Mhango and Monitoring and Evaluation Manager Siphiwe Malihera provided inmates with information about what the ballots will look like on Election Day, and how to correctly input their vote for President, for their Member of Parliament and for their City Councillor. Victor and Siphiwe then took questions from the inmates on a wide range of topics – many of these questions raised important issues and concerns about the voting process. (For more information about what the prisoners asked, read this recent article in the Daily Times: https://www.times.mw/prisoners-feel-sidelined-from-may-21-…/)
Following our visit to Chichiri, CHREAA’s teams have been touring prisons across the Southern Region for our Civic Education Drive. (In addition to our continuing legal advocacy work on behalf of prisoners.) All Malawians including incarcerated persons have the right to participate in the democratic process, and the staff and volunteers at CHREAA are excited to help achieve greater voter participation among all segments of our society, including among the most disenfranchised.