Editor's Comment

Play your part

Civic responsibilities for citizens include voting in elections.

Others are joining the military in times of war to defend the country, being an active member of the neighbourhood and volunteering in community work.

They also extend to paying taxes and upholding the laws of the country.

Civic responsibilities should not be restricted to holding public office. In fact, citizens should feel free and proud to participate in governance of the country at various levels.

For instance, the country is headed for general elections on August 12, 2021 when they will be choosing leaders to positions of councillor, Members of Parliament and the President.

This exercise started with facilitating people who did not have green national registration cards (NRC) to get them, then the registration of voters followed.

Registering for voting is part of the process.

Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is now verifying the voters’ register. ECZ says out of over seven million registered voters, only a million have verified their details.

The verification of the voter registration means checking the correctness of the individual’s voter’s record just in case there is an error or omission.

It does not in any way mean that if an individual voter has not checked or verified his or her voter’s record then that registered voter will be deleted or omitted from the voters’ roll, no.

The voters’ verification process is a holistic precautionary measure instituted to safeguard the right of every voter and ensure that the data that was captured during registration is accurately reflected in the ECZ data base.

In other words, the verification exercise is intended to counter check if there were mistakes in the NRC numbers or polling stations or districts, among others.

As long as the voters’ records are correctly reflected, each and every registered voter will still be entitled to vote at the designated polling station where she or he is registered to vote even if that individual did not verify his or her record.

This myth that an individual will be disenfranchised if that individual has not verified the records produced by ECZ is incorrect.

That said, citizens who registered should make time and go to the designated centres where the verifications are taking place.

It is part of the solemn civic responsibility of the voters to verify their details so that they are not turned away come August 12 in case there are errors on their details.

The significance of civic responsibility in the electoral process is paramount to the success of democracy. By fulfilling their civic responsibility such as registering as voters and verifying their details, citizens are upholding democratic tenets of the country.

Citizens should own this process by adhering to what is expected of them in the electoral process of the country.

Zambia values democratic governance in line with the Constitutional requirements which require the participation of all adults in this noble exercise.

It is, therefore, odd that ECZ is facing apathy from people who willingly registered in the August 12 elections, which are due in four months.

Community leaders and non-governmental organisations worth their salt must, therefore, play their role of encouraging voters to go and verify especially that ECZ has extended the verification exercise.

By the time the new deadline of Thursday April 8 comes, we hope the vast majority of the voters would have done what is expected of them.

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