By NATION REPORTER
PARAMOUNT Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba has urged traditional leaders to advocate for peaceful election campaigns and huge voter turnout during the August 12 elections.
Chitimukulu, who is the patron for the Movement for Voter Apathy Sensitisation, observed that it was a matter of concern that people were divided due to politics instead of living in harmony.
The traditional leader said this at Mansa College of Education yesterday at the crowning of traditional leaders in Luapula as champions of voter sensitisation and peaceful elections.
He noted that traditional leaders should be at the centre of championing Kenneth Kaunda’s One Zambia One Nation motto to their subjects.
“Zambia is for all of us. We eat together in homes as brothers and sisters but why fight today all because of politics? As traditional leaders we have a huge role to play in advocating for peace,” Paramount Chief Chitimukulu said.
And Luapula Province Chiefs Council Representative, Senior Chief Mwewa, said the chiefs in the region would continue to advocate for peaceful campaigns.
Chief Mwewa noted that chiefs would work together to ensure there was a huge voter turnout during the voting day for the August 12 tripartite elections.
“Voter apathy has been our concern, hence the coming together of traditional leaders advocating for high voter turnout and peaceful election campaigns,” he said.
Chief Mwewa stated that despite chiefs being accused of being champions of partisan politics they had continued to work together in fostering unity and peace in the country.
He added that chiefs in Luapula would continue to sensitise their subjects on voting, peace and unity for a better Zambia.
“There is lack of the spirit of tolerance among politicians, too much tribalism, hate speech and voter apathy, this we shall not tolerate as traditional,” Chief Mwewa said.
Thirty-three chiefs and some members of the clergy including the Permanent Secretary were crowned as champions of voter sensitisation and peaceful elections in Luapula province.
And ZANIS reports that Luapula Province Permanent Secretary Charles Mushota said voter apathy has the potential to pose a danger to Zambia’s democratic credentials,.
Mr Mushota said the country’s democracy was under threat due to increased voter apathy, thereby threatening the 50 plus one threshold as stipulated in the Republican Constitution.
“According to our constitution, for a candidate to win the Presidential election that person should have fifty plus one vote, but this can only be achieved if there is a huge voter turnout,” he said.
Mr Mushota said it was commendable that the Movement for Voter Sensitisation (MVS) has embarked on a robust programme aimed at addressing voter apathy. He said sensitising communities on ending voter apathy and electoral violence was a huge milestone that needs to be commended.