SOCIALIST Party president Fred M’membe says Zambians don’t need guns or pangas to change government but instead they need voter’s cards.
Speaking to journalists at Ngwerere Basic School in Lusaka where he registered to vote in next year’s elections, Dr M’membe said “it’s no exaggeration to say the 2021 elections could be the most important elections of our lifetime”.
He said if one did not vote, they would not get the government they wanted.
“This is all I need to effect the changes that I want in this country, to have the type of leaders I want, to have the type of policies I want – I don’t need a gun, I don’t need a panga to change government, all that is needed is a voter’s card,” Dr M’membe said as he flashed his newly-acquired voter’s card.
He said government offices would never remain vacant because some people stayed away from voting.
“There will still be people who will occupy those offices but it will be people you did not vote for. It will be people you may not desire to have as leaders so please, please, please, please, register as voters,” Dr M’membe said. “There may be queues but let’s endure those queues and let’s make the necessary noise so that ECZ can increase the number of points for registration.”
He said there was no need for people to be spending days and days on queues.
“Earning a living today is difficult, people need to go back to work and earn a living, so please whatever the difficulties, whatever the challenges, let’s register as voters,” Dr M’membe said.
He noted that next year’s elections would very important as well as competitive.
“I have registered as a voter, what about you? Today I registered as voter. This means I will be able to vote in next year’s elections. I urge you to do the same,” Dr M’membe said. “I don’t have to tell you how important next year’s elections are. It is no exaggeration to say that the 2021 elections could be the most important elections of our lifetime.”
Dr M’membe said so much of what was important to the citizens was at stake.
“You’ve heard it time and time again, but it is your duty as a citizen to register as a voter, exercise your right to vote in next year’s elections,” he said.
Dr M’membe warned that there were real consequences that come with not voting.
“If you don’t vote, you do not exercise your right to have any say in governmental policy. Sometimes, elections are decided by a handful of people. Handful. That could be you,” he said. “The fact of the matter is the outcome of elections will affect you – whether you’re interested in politics or not. That means broader political structures directly shape your personal experience – there is no escaping it.”
Dr M’membe cautioned Zambians not to fall into the trap that thousands of Zambians have fallen into and believe they do not matter.
“You absolutely do. If you don’t register as voter, you won’t vote in next year’s elections. And if you won’t vote, you will effectively be casting a vote for the opponent you least agree with,” said Dr M’membe, who himself will be the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate in 2021.