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Apathy not good for democracy – Chitimukulu

PARAMOUNT Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people of Northern Province has bemoaned the voter apathy that characterized the past three presidential elections in Zambia.
The traditional leader said the country recorded a voter apathy of 48.33 percent in 2011, 68.64 per cent in 2015 and 43.55 in 2016, a trend he said was not good for democracy.
He said this in a speech read for him by Lufwanyama District Education Board Secretary, Mambe Hamududu, during the launch of the Movement for Voter Sensitization (MVS) at Moba Hotel in Kitwe.
Paramount Chief Chitimukulu said MVS was formed to address the challenge of voter apathy and to sensitise people countrywide to register as voters.
“If the challenge of voter apathy is not addressed, this will destroy the essence of democracy which demands the rule of the majority,” Paramount chief Chitimukulu observed.
The Mwine LuBemba who is also the patron of the MVS, said there wpould also be need to sensitize people against making tribal remarks and political violence.
He said the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) would encouraged women and youths to participate in politics and to hold their political leaders accountable.
And senior Chief Madzimawe who represented Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people urged the new NGO to follow people even on social media so that they could be captured and sensitized.
Chief Madzimawe noted that a lot of people were active in political issues on social media but did not participate in actual voting.
At the same function, senior chief Kanongesha of North-Western province said tribalism would not be entertained in his chiefdom urging all chiefs to embrace all political party leaders to campaign in their chiefdoms.
Earlier, Chief Lumpuma of the Lamba people said women in his chiefdom think that they could only use their National Registration cards to get fertilizer under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and note for voting hence the need to sensitize them.
Chief Lumpuma called on the new NGO to discourage the ferrying of political cadres from urban areas to rural areas during campaigns to avoid political violence.
Chief Chikanta of the Tonga people of Southern Province urged all chiefs in the country to support the NGO and ensure that all eligible voters obtain NRCs and voters cards so that they participate in next year’s elections.
Copperbelt Province Permanent Secretary, Bright Nundwe, said it would be costly for the country to hold a re-run if none of the presidential candidates managed to get the 50+ 1 votes threshold hence the need to sensitize people to register as voters now and turn in large numbers to vote.

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