Livingstone Mayor Eugine Mapuwo has condemned political violence saying it retards development. Mr. Mapuwo said other than retarding development, political violence also discourages women and youths from effectively participating in political activities and aspiring for higher positions.
He further noted that violence curtails freedom and prevents ordinary citizens from effectively participating in the electoral process.
Mr. Mapuwo said this in Livingstone yesterday when he officially opened a training workshop for Journalists and Editors on coverage of women and youth political participants during elections.
The workshop was organized by the Free Press Initiative (FPI), under a project called ‘Zambia Decides: A Project towards 2021 Parliamentary and General Elections in Zambia’ and supported by the Carter Centre Zambia Foundation.
And the Livingstone Mayor has called on government and other stakeholders to support the project as it is for the betterment of the political environment.
“It is the responsibility of government and us as politicians to be supportive of this project as it is meant to build the capacity of journalists and also to improve the current political environment,” he said.
Mr. Mapuwo further called on political players to use social media responsibly to prevent cyberbullying which in some cases, led to marginalisation of women and youths in politics.
And speaking earlier, FPI Founder Joan Chirwa, said there was need to bridge the gap that prevented women and youths from actively participating in politics.
Ms. Chirwa expressed confidence that solutions to bridge the existing gap on the political landscape would also help to enhance news coverage of women and youths in politics.
“It is quite difficult to find women and youths in politics being covered in the news and this has troubled us over the years. So we hope that through this project, we will find a lasting solution,” Ms. Chirwa said.
While in Livingstone, the FPI is also scheduled to engage and sensitise women and youths in politics on effective political participation, use of social media and online safely.