THE Democratic Governance and Human Rights Advocates (DEGHA) have advised Zambians not to vote for members of Parliament and councillors who abandon them soon after winning the elections.
DEGHA president Mr Gerald Mutelo said it was sad that Zambians only see their leaders and councillors during campaigns and do not see their works after the elections.
He said it was unfair for leaders to make decisions without consulting and considering the views of the people that put them in office.
’’Voters are kindly advised to take the analysis concerning the performance of councillors and MPs seriously and those who are not performing the electorate have a right to terminate their service by not voting for them again; non-performers should be given a red card’’ he said.
He cautioned Zambians not to complain about governance if they did not want to exercise their right to vote as it was the only way they could choose their leaders.
’’Those who don’t vote, don’t complain and kindly keep quiet or register as a voter so that you can democratically talk by casting your vote secretly in 2016 general elections’’ he said.
He also urged the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) to stop their rivalry that had led to violence.
He said the two political parties should ensure that they disciplined their members and ensure no form of political violence took place.
’’The rivalry between PF and UPND should come to an end. Why is it that when there is political violence it is always pointing fingers at either PF or UPND? We are kindly appealing to PF and UPND leaders to ensure that their members are disciplined; politics of violence is unacceptable in this era,’’ he said. He urged politicians to focus their energies on encouraging Zambians to obtain national registration and voters’ cards.
He said the political violence exhibited by the two parties would discourage voters to register as voters which would in turn increase levels of voter apathy and that all citizens and political parties must learn to promote and protect peace by adhering to the Public Order Act and other laws of the land.
’’The POA is not just for politicians but even the churches who do overnight prayers, parties or other public events. This is a wake-up call to the police that they should ensure that individual citizens and other institutions are all following the Act,’’ he said.
He said the police should work hard in investigating political violence and ensure culprits were prosecuted.
Mr Mutelo commended the Electoral Commission of Zambia for extending the voter registration exercise and challenged people to take it seriously.
He said the people should vote wisely and know that the President, MPs and councillors were people’s servants who should serve them according to their wishes.
He said it was only the voter that had the power to retain or remove leaders.
’’ In 2016 we will have general elections and voters will be making very serious decisions whether to return the councillors, MPs and the President or to bring new people in; this is the power of the voter,’’ he said