February 9, 2015, – The opposition party Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) on the Copperbelt will soon embark on a voter sensitization programme in a bid to avoid apathy in the 2016 tripartite elections.
Copperbelt FDD Coordinator Nshingebuka Shamenda told ZANIS in a telephone interview in Ndola on February 9, 2015 that his party would not want to see the low voter turnout which characterized the January 20, 2015 Presidential Polls repeat itself.
Mr. Shamenda said that the programme will start in Ndola where door to door voter sensitization exercises will be undertaken to educate people on the importance of exercising their right to vote.
“As FDD on the Copperbelt we decided to sensitize voters on the importance of exercising their right to vote, we don’t want the low voter turnout that characterized the January 20, 2015 Presidential election.
We will be going door to door leaving no stone unturned just to make sure everyone knows their right to vote and the importance of it,” he said.
Mr Shamenda stated that his party realized that it was not only the duty of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to sensitize the general public on the importance of voting as a human right.
Mr. Shamenda also observed that the number of rejected votes in the January 20 Presidential polls was high hence the need to educate people on how to choose their preferred candidates than spoiling votes in such a manner.
According to the January 20, 2015 presidential election statistics, the voter turnout stood at 32.36 percent and the number of rejected votes stood at 17 313.
“The number which our candidate (Edith Nawakwi) had is less than the number of rejected votes, imagine if all the rejected votes were given to madam Nawakwi, we would have gotten 30,000 plus votes.
This is the reason we have decided to go flat out to sensitise the general public on both the importance of voting and how to vote to reduce the number of rejected votes and voter apathy,” Mr. Shamenda said.
He has since called on other political parties to educate the general public on the benefits of voting and to show them how to vote than relying on ECZ alone.