Zambia: people still don’t understand the Referedum, says father Leonard Chiti

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THE Council of Elders of the

Zambia Elections Information

Centre-ZEIC has expressed concern

over the continued lack of

understanding on the referendum.

ZEIC Chairperson Father Leonard

Chiti says his organization is

concerned that people still do not

understand the referendum, why it

is coming and how they will

participate in it.

“Our citizens’ platforms are

showing that there are still a lot of

misunderstandings on what voting

in the referendum entails, and

some citizens appear to confuse

the referendum with partisan

elections,” Fr Chiti says.

” What is making us even more

concerned is that the referendum

issue does not feature so

prominently in the campaign

message of different politicians.”

He says it is regrettably that there

has been little voter education to

sensitize citizens on the need for

them to participate in the

referendum.

He has appealed to all political

parties to carry along the message

of the referendum as they intensify

their campaigns.

“We encourage politicians to spare

some time during their campaigns

to talk about the referendum and

to desist from misinforming voters

that those who vote yes are for a

certain party and those that vote

for a no are also for another

party,” He says

Fr Chiti further has disclosed that

his organisation has received

views from citizens on the

referendum process and the

contents of the Bill of Rights and

further hopes to contribute to

increased citizens’ participation in

the process.

He adds that his organization is

partnering with its stakeholders

such as the Law Association of

Zambia to conduct public debates

on the referendum and the Bill of

Rights.

“It is our hope as a Council of

Elders that within the next few

weeks, campaign messages will

amplify the issues of the

referendum on the Bill of Rights to

enable voters to participate from

an informed position,” says Fr

Chiti.

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