Zambia Rainbow Coalition president Cleopas Phiri has pleaded with the media to avoid irresponsible reporting in order to avoid plunging the country into chaos after elections.
Phiri also says his organisatrion is worried at `the systematic attempts by certain quarters, to denigrate, scandalize and undermine the electoral process. ´
Below is what Phiri told Journalists in Lusaka on Sunday:
Zambia Rainbow Coalition
Distinguished invited guests, members of ZRC, members of the media present, distinguished Zambians. We would like to welcome you to this eye opening and sobering press conference.
We are deeply concerned at the systematic attempts by certain quarters, to denigrate, scandalize and undermine the electoral process. These maneuvers will only go to threaten national security and compromise the credibility of the process. We therefore would like to encourage ECZ to be steadfast and not succumb to these ill intended pressures.
We have noted that concerns raised on the printing of ballot papers, on the Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT), and the parentage clause and the capability of ECZ to conduct free and fair elections, are not sincere and have been done so far to undermine the electoral process by enemies of the country.
For example, the ballot papers were printed in South Africa in the 2006 and 2008 elections in the presence of all stakeholders, and it worked well. It is therefore surprising that this matter should be an issue now.
We are aware of certain political element that are bent at scandalizing the electoral process to advantage certain political sects as a way to win the election using all manner of uncalled for dirty methods and schemes.
We would also like to appeal to fellow civil society organization that are geared to monitor this years election to ensure they vest their members with the electoral procedures and code of conduct so as to report the results with all professionalism, honesty and responsibility.
The Zambia Rainbow Coalition (ZRC) is a home- grown concept initiated by the social and grass root movements that are based in the local communities and townships, which constitute the largest composition of diverse opinion leaders in Zambia. With inherent collective potential, hopes and aspirations for a better Zambia are to be found in this united front for an envisioned, dignified and prosperous society. Zambia Rainbow Coalition is a pressure group organization, determined to defend the public good through advocacy and campaign for better laws and policies to govern our only Zambia
ZRC has one mission: to make voting relevant to the young people and marginalized who could rule, if only they knew the power they possessed. Mobilizing the Now generation with the campaign’s urgent Silent No More! Message, ZRC has created a “coalition of the willing” that includes partnerships with media
ZRC calls her get out the vote campaign “Silent No More.” The shock value is eminent but that’s the point.
The organization hopes that her unusual and firm slogan will make young people realize the importance of elections.
Silent No More is a comprehensive campaign aimed at young adults with the goal of informing them of the political process, encouraging them to voice their political concern, compelling leading candidates to address those concerns, and inciting massive numbers of young adults to vote.
It’s a known fact that there are three million young registered voters, meaning three million votes up for grabs. It is mandated upon us to ensure that these young people are equipped with necessary information to make the right decisions.
It Is Your Right To Vote!
A new dawn is coming upon our nation. Elections are near and we need to believe for peace and stability. We pray that young leaders start coming in the forefront to lead their generation to the future and we also pray that older leaders begin to consider the young not as rivals but as agents of change who need good mentors as them.
OUR APPEAL AND CONCLUSION
We are appealing to all Zambians to be wary of these schemes that have the potential to fan violence and anarchy thereby endangering Zambia’s peace and democracy.
We also would like to appeal to the candidates of public office to stop inciting the Zambians to resort to violence and base their campaigns on issues of development and taking Zambia to the next level.
Finally we call upon all media houses to take a sober position in information dissemination as the media plays a major role in shaping the direction of a country, do not abuse this position, As we pray, God forbid that Zambia be plunged into post electoral violence due to irresponsible reporting from the media, people depend upon you to provide them with information that is truth and Balanced.