THE Electoral Commission of Zambia says there is need to adequately deal with issues of disinformation and abuse of social media related to elections.
Speaking in Pretoria, South Africa after presenting a preliminary statement on behalf of the SADC Election Management Bodies on the just-ended National and Provincial Elections in that country, ECZ chairperson Justice Esau Chulu said it would engage the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to share some of the best practices in the management of elections.
Justice Chulu said his commission would engage the IEC on how to effectively manage electoral related disinformation and abuse of social media. He said there was need to adequately deal with issues of disinformation and abuse of social media related to elections as it had the potential to mislead electorates and other electoral stakeholders. Justice Chulu said the ECZ would emulate some of the mechanisms put in place by IEC to manage disinformation by working closely with the media and provision of regular electoral updates.
He observed that electoral related disinformation was serious and rampant in some areas and needed to be quickly handled to build confidence among stakeholders. Justice Chulu added that other areas of engagement would focus on the use of various social media platforms to promote sensitisation and voter education. He further said his commission would like to emulate the use of scanners in the voting process to ensure that voters were quickly identified and directed to the right polling stations. Justice Chulu said this would help reduce on inconveniences as well as save time.
Justice Chulu was in South Africa leading a team of Election Management Bodies from 10 SADC member countries. This is according to first secretary press and public relations at Zambia’s High Commission in South Africa Naomi Nyawali.