The Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) has urged political cadres to refrain from political violence as it encourages voter apathy.
SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Chembe says acts of violence intimidate voters and can lead to minimized voter turnout, as the electorates fear for their lives.
Mr Chembe told ZANIS in an interview today that violence delays political progress for the country, adding that political cadres can not shape Zambians in a way that enables them to make informed decisions that address their concerns.
‘’Acts of political violence only discourage voters and disadvantage them when making informed decisions.
Violence only breeds violence and our greatest interest as a country is to maximum voter turnout come August 12,’’ Mr. Chembe noted.
He added that in a COVID-19 tragedy election year where physical campaigns have been suspended, it is vital for political cadres to act responsibly and equip themselves with constructive issues from their party manifesto.
“Political cadres must focus on discussing positive issues which are in line with their party manifesto and ensure that the people are well informed, ‘’noted Mr. Chembe.
He further disclosed that SACCORD is collaborating with other civil society organisations such as the Human Rights Commission, and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), to provide mechanisms that can address political violence.
Mr. Chembe revealed that SACCORD is working with collaborating partners to ensure that they provide a platform for capacity building to all political parties in order to create a conducive environment for voters.
‘’Our main aim with our cooperating partners is to educate the masses on peaceful and fair elections where violence is curtailed,’’ he said.