By SARAH TEMBO –
THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has called on the youth in Katuba Constituency to maintain peace during the forthcoming by-election.
Addressing youths from different political parties at a youth conference in Katuba yesterday, ECZ Commissioner Judge Esau Chulu cautioned youths against being used as tools of violence by political parties during the by-election.
Judge Chulu told the youth that voting was their privilege and was one way in which they contributed to the decision-making process in the country, hence they should desist from engaging in violent activities.
“I want to appeal to all the youth to exercise restraint to acts of violence and behaviour which are likely to lead to anarchy in the country,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, deputy director for elections and voter education at ECZ, Jocelyn Mubita said the commission decided to start holding youth conferences in places where by-elections were being held due to violence witnessed in past elections.
Ms Mubita said youths, who were the majority of voters, were in most cases perpetrators of violence.
“This conference is aimed at providing a platform for youths from different political parties to interact freely and to also educate them on the importance of holding free and peaceful elections,” she said.
Ms Mubita said sensitising the youth on the electoral process would help reduce violence.
The Katuba by-election will be held on February 25, 3014. Meanwhile, the MMD says its Katuba candidate, Cecil Holmes, declined to feature on ZNBC’s Race to Manda Hill programme because the national broadcaster has shown favouritism.
In a letter addressed to ZNBC director of programmes and copied to Sunday Times, acting national secretary Kapembwa Simbao said its candidate also declined to feature because prospects of editing the programme against other opponents were very high and thus Mr Holmes decided not to take the risk.
Mr Simbao further said that the MMD candidate could not to feature on the program because very few Katuba Constituency residents and voters had television sets to watch the programme.