The advent of democracy in Malawi gave birth to scores of organisations claiming to represent the interests of Malawians in respect of the many rights that the new dispensation brought along.
Some of such organisations took up the responsibility of educating the populace on issues of elections. How each of them has performed their job since 1994 when Malawi had its first general elections in this era is up to the people to judge.
But it is generally a fact that while some have been around all along, Malawi's democracy avenue is littered with numerous organisations that only pop up towards the election time, for whatever motivation.
Democracy is a process and all organisations that came on the scene with the mission to educate the masses on election and democracy issues cannot be allowed to take a sabbatical leave. There is need for constant education and interaction with the electorate to entrench a culture of democracy and its values.
It is therefore encouraging that Malawi Electoral Commission is undertaking the exercise of accrediting various organisations based on their applications. We are not aware of the conditions that the commission follows to accredit one organisation and turn down another.
But Malawians know which organisation has been functioning and which one has not been. Any organisation that only appears because there is an election coming up should be treated with suspicion.
The Malawi Electoral Commission notes that accreditation enables the organisations to source donor support to implement their set activities. This means it is also incumbent upon the donors to give a thorough assessment of the organisations seeking funding.
In a fledgling democracy like ours, voter education is a continuous process and therefore organisations that claim to be in voter education ought to exist all the time.
No one should be fleecing donors in the name of educating Malawians only to fold up after the last minute of an election.