Vote out no-show leaders, Zambians urged

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