By Nation Reporter
POLITICIANS should explain the importance of the referendum and the Bill of Rights instead of misleading the electorate that voting for the referendum will legalize abortions and homosexuality, Anti-Voter Apathy Project (AVAP) Copperbelt coordinator Poster Jumbe has said.
Mr Jumbe said it was disappointing that some opposition leaders had chosen to mislead the electorate that voting for the referendum would legalize homosexuality and abortion, instead of explaining to them what the referendum was about.
He said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that it was unfortunate that some politicians from major opposition parties were misleading the electorate that voting for the referendum was one way the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) wanted to rig the August 11 elections.
“Politicians should play a leading role in educating and sensitizing the electorate about the referendum. This is the best time but it is unfortunate that some opposition politicians want to politicize the issue of referendum.
“Yes, they want to politicize the whole thing by misleading the people that if they vote in the referendum, they will legalize abortion and homosexuality. They are also saying it is one way the PF wanted to rig the elections.
“If these politicians are ignorant about the referendum they should keep quiet and leave it to the people who know instead of misleading the people,” Mr Jumbe said.
He said sensitizing the public about the referendum should be done by political parties, civil society organizations, the church and other relevant institutions.
“The Electoral Commission of Zambia is the one which will conduct the referendum, but the sensitizing should be conducted by political parties, church organizations and other relevant institutions, but politicians should play a leading role in educating and sensitizing the people,” he said
He said it was irresponsible for any politician to mislead Zambians on the issue of referendum which was looking at the Bill of Rights which was fundamental to Zambia’s democracy and good governance and guaranteed the respect and dignity of all citizens.
He also advised Zambians to read what was contained in the Bill of Rights so that politicians do not mislead them in order to gain political mileage.
He said politicians were finding it easy to mislead the electorate and the general citizenry because of the poor reading culture in Zambia.
“Because Zambians have a poor reading culture, it is easy for politicians to tell lies that the referendum was about legalizing homosexuality and abortion. So I am urging Zambians to read what is contained in the Bill of Rights.
“The referendum is looking at the Bill of Rights which was fundamental to Zambia’s democracy and good governance and guaranteed the human respect and dignity of all citizens,” he said.