CHRISTIAN Coalition Monitoring Group (CCMG) executive director Eugene Kabilika has appealed to the media to promote peaceful elections this year.

Kabilika adds that peace is key to national development even beyond the August 12 elections.

This morning, the Coalition for Peaceful Elections in Zambia comprising held an engagement meeting with selected media editors on the role of the media in promoting peaceful elections in the country ahead of next month’s polls.

The Coalition comprises the Law Association of Zambia, the Human Rights Commission, Non-Governmental Gender Organisations Coordinating Council, and the Zambia Federation of Disability Organisations.
Others are the Zambia Police Service, Media Institute of Southern Africa – Zambian Chapter, National Youth Development Council, and Transparency International Zambia.
Speaking during the engagement meeting, Kabilika, implored the media to utilise their channels to promote peace.

“Beyond the election we need a peaceful Zambia and the media can play an integral role to ensure peace before and after the elections in their reporting,” said Kabilika.

And Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue executive director Doreen Njovu Kabwe added that the media were key towards the holding of peaceful elections in Zambia.

She said the media could foster peace by providing a platform for constructive dialogue and engagement among political players.
“The media are very critical as they disseminate information for the public. It is upon this information that citizens make decisions on the various players,’’ said Kambwe. ‘’As the fourth estate, the media can promote peace during and after the elections by reporting objectively and sieving out hate speech and language that would promote violence.”

And political officer for Africa at the Commonwealth secretariat, Koffi Sawyer, said the Coalition for Peaceful Elections in Zambia was a platform that was co-convened by Zambian civil society organisations.
These are the Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue and the three Church Mother Bodies namely Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, Council of Churches in Zambia, and the Zambia Council of Catholic Bishops.

“The Coalition is working in synergy, and supported by the Commonwealth and the United Nations. Following the launch of CPEZ on July 1st, 2021, these organisations will now focus on promoting peaceful and credible elections, that are inclusive and gender responsive and that take into account the unique needs of women, youth, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups,” said Sawyer.

The Coalition is working towards having all the political parties sign a peace pledge during a public event that has been scheduled to take place on July 14 at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre.

All the 16 contesting political parties and their leaders are expected to sign the Peace Pledge which, among other things, requires all contesting parties to reaffirm their commitment to taking action towards preventing violence before, during and after the elections.

The coalition is supported by the Commonwealth and the United Nations.

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