As millions of Zambians are planning to vote in tomorrow’s general elections, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour Chanda Kaziya has warned employers against disenfranchising their employees.
Mr. Kaziya said the declaration of Thursday, 12th August and Friday 13th, August 2021, as public holidays by President Edgar Lungu, was done to ensure that citizens exercise their civic right to vote in the election.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS, the Permanent Secretary has directed that all employers, including chain stores, must allow employees that have registered to vote as it is their right to do so.
“The position of the ministry is that no one should be disenfranchised by way of taking them to work at the expense of voting,” Mr. Kaziya said.
The Labour Permanent Secretary also appealed to employees to report employers who are depriving them of their right to vote to the Ministry of Labour
“The chain stores have been guided that they can’t force anyone to work on that day. The day is declared as a public holiday so the rules of a public holiday apply but only that this day is a special day for all of us to perform our civic duty,” he said.
Meanwhile, Government has called on all employers to accord the workers a chance to exercise their right to vote in tomorrow’s general elections.
Secretary to Cabinet Simon Miti said no worker should be disfranchised on account of being at work as doing so will attract full wrath of the law on the employer.
Dr. Miti emphasised that workers from both the formal and informal sectors have the constitutional right to vote.
He pointed out that article 47 of the constitution of Zambia spells out clearly that everyone has the right to choose the leaders of their choice.
The Secretary to Cabinet said this in a speech read on his behalf by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga in Lusaka today.
“If there are employers not complying with the provisions of the constitution by not allowing their employees to cast their votes, provide the information to us then the due process of the law will be followed,” he stressed.
On peace, Dr. Miti stated that security has been heightened especially in areas that recorded some pockets of violence.
He explained that people should be free to cast their votes as enough security is in place, adding that essential workers should work in shifts in order to allow them to vote.
The Secretary to Cabinet has further urged the electorates to observe Covid-19 guidelines and leave the polling stations after voting to minimize the spread of the pandemic.
Tomorrow, August 12, 2021, Zambians will flock to polling stations across the country to vote in a general election.