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“University colleges are market place of intellectual ideas” – Justice Kachale

By Evance Chisiano

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC ) Chairperson, Justice Dr. Chifundo Kachale on Saturday called University of Malawi (UNIMA) students to assembly where he lectured them on their role in the electoral process.

Justice Dr. Kachale addressed the UNIMA students at the Great Hall through a public lecture under the theme Unlocking the power within youth for future leadership and said why should there be voter apathy when the youth are in majority.

He wondered why the energetic youths mostly shun political elections yet they constitute about 52 per cent of the countrys population.

He said research shows that youth in the Sub Saharan region put less trust in public institutions unlike older citizens yet the youth constitute a larger population, adding that the some scholars through other researches pointed out that the youth in this part of Africa “are less likely to vote in political elections.”

In his public lecture, MEC Chairperson wondered this was the case when youths especially those in university like UNIMA fail to participate in elections yet they are key assets in change agenda.

“The youth are our chief stakeholders you are youthful, energetic and full of intellectual abilities capable of playing a significant role in attaining best political results for aspired social and political change.

“Older generation lack the energy and the zeal. They have too many scars and fear to venture again after attempting many times to seek for a change to no avail. We need different innovative solutions that reside in our youths. Youth are therefore an ideal group,” he said while calling for the youth to participate in the 2025 general elections,” he said
He therefore bemoaned politicians that capitalise on youth naivety, social vulnerability and impatience and eventually chose to push them into committing political violence for cheap remunerations of cash, bear and flattering praises.

He noted that most youths aspire for positive change when they fail to be part of the aspired change that normally comes through a ballot, adding that youth empowerment is an investment in Malawis democracy.

The public lecture at UNIMA was aired through radios and was shown on TVs and face book pages where listeners and views were able to follow and participate through comments and questions for clarifications.

Some UNIMA students and viewers mostly asked MEC on ways and means to engage youths in electoral processes to avoid voter apathy and mechanism to engage youths in clean and active politics towards attainment of youth leadership in key political positions.

Kachale said the public lecture was youth engagement in the electoral process and was part of extensive stakeholder engagement programme.
“MEC believe that the youth should be more innovative in the political process. We trust that UNIMA will provide conversations of political understanding,” he said.

Executive Dean of School of Law and Economic Governance, Professor Happy Kayuni hailed Justice Kachale for holding the public lecture at UNIMA saying the institution was key in the Malawi politics and was ideal stage for discussion of such importance.

Professor Kayuni who stood in for UNIMA Vice Chancellor Professor, Samson Sajidu also commended the students for participating actively in the public lecture through questions that sought clarifications on a number of issues to do with electoral processes.
A third year Law student, Ulemu Mpekasambo urged MEC to put proper mechanism to mobilise young people to avoid voter apathy in the 2025 general elections considering that the youth constitute a larger Malawi population.
In a random interview after the presentation, students described the public lecture as ideal and relevant to the young people.

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