Zambia: Church's 1500 Poll Observers Welcome

As the country approaches elections on August 12, various stakeholders are positioning themselves to play their respective roles in the process.

Elections always attract various players as a fulfillment of democratic demands.

Already international observers have started arriving in the country and taking up their positions to monitor campaigns and other election-related activities.

The actual Election Day draws nearer; more observers are expected to arrive in the country and take up their position.

On its part the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has given all election monitors and observers up to July 31 of this year to register for them to have access to voting premises.

Locally, the Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) has indicated that it will deploy not less than 1,500 monitors to various parts of the country to monitor the process.

This is as it should be because the local players are even more critical than the international ones to ensuring credibility of the electoral process.

Truly the government's invitation of international and local observers adds credence to the election process and makes the process easily accepted by all players.

When deployed these election monitors and observers are expected to be above board and not to engage in activities that may disturb elections or bring the process into disrepute.

The observers should at all costs desist from disseminating any wrong information which has potential to derail or disturb elections and their data should help to calm competing parties.

Institutions deploying observers like the CCMG should ensure that they are adequately trained for them to observe elections and add value to the process as opposed to taking partisan positions.

Such situation would be counterproductive and negatively affect the process.

It is indeed important for institutions deploying monitors and their officers to avoid taking sides of one political opponent or the other because that defeats the very essence and purpose of monitoring elections.

We, therefore, look forward to seeing organisations like the CCMG adding value to this year's electoral process in this country which has been a bastion of democracy for many years.

Truly, countries in the region and beyond are looking to Zambia to continue leading in the democratic path where elections are held in free and fair atmosphere devoid of conflicts.

When all is said and done, Zambia should emerge from the August 12 general elections more united than ever before for the betterment of the nation.

For that to be possible all stakeholders or players like the CCMG are supposed to play their respective roles correctly and without malice or biasness.

CCMG and other monitors should play their role without fear or favour because they are to benchmark the electoral process.

This is because every stakeholder is obliged to contribute towards the growth of democracy as espoused by the current Republican Constitution.

We, therefore, call upon all to reflect on this huge responsibility and pledge to deliver according to the allotted roles.

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