The Continental Leadership Research Institute (CLRI) has called on the Electoral Commission of Zambia and the Zambia police to have more engagement meetings with stakeholders as the country heads to the polls next year.
Speaking in Kitwe when he featured on Flava FM Tuesday evening, institute executive director Mundia Paul Hakoola said ECZ and the Zambia Police are the institutions key to a free and fair election hence the need for them to be more engaging with the stakeholders on matters relations to elections.
He said the role of the two institutions cannot be over emphasized and that having more stakeholder engagement will help defuse the tension and suspicions surrounding the 2021 elections.
“As we head to the 2021 elections we want to call on ECZ to increase stakeholder engagement meetings. We also call on other state agencies such as the police to also increase stakeholder engagement. These are key institutions in ensuring that we have peace. If we have an election which is going to have a number of stakeholder engagement meetings it is going to defuse the tension among stakeholders.
“We believe that the ECZ should be able to have stakeholder engagement meetings with the police and we also believe that the police should be able to gather information and explain to the citizens on the double standards exhibited with regards to issuances of permits,” he said.
And Mr Hakoola said his organization will continue to train youths so as to increase the capacity of youths in the country to ensure meaningful participation in the Governance of the country.
“Continental Leadership Research Institute CLRI is conducting a days capacity building training in Kitwe. The training is aimed at increasing the capacities of youths who are in politics and also in Civil Society on effective participation in governance.
“We have recognized the low Participation of youths in governance hence our training. Our training aims at building the capacities of youths in non violence, in areas of effective dialogue skills and in areas of issue based advocacy. We also want to increase the capacities of political parties to have the capacity to do budget tracking at local level to so as to track various expenditures of the state and through that we will be promoting transparency and accountability,” he said.
Last week the United States Embassy in Zambia praised the Continental Leadership Research Institute (CLRI) for it’s efforts in developing programs that engaged young people in the Democratic process of the country.
Speaking during the launch of the Capacity Training for Youth on Governance for Effective Youth Participation in Democratic Processes, U.S. Embassy Deputy Director of Public Affairs Julien Kreuze said his government will continue to help CLRI and other like minded organizations in their efforts to ensure that youths are equipped with skills for responsive leadership.
He observed that with 65% making the country’s population it was commendable that CLRI has developed a program that does not only deeply engages the youths in their advocacy skills but also learn about responsible civic engagement.
CLRI is in Kitwe to hold capacity building workshop for youths in politics and civil society from the district.