The Zambia Elections Information Centre successfully hosted an interactive online summit on 5th August 2016, ahead of the 11th August Zambia Election.
The information Centre whose main objective is to be a source of credible real time information around all topics relating to the Zambia Election organised the session that allowed for questions from the public to be responded to by a panel of representatives’ from some key players in the election process.
Hosted at the Canadian High Commission Lusaka, Zambia. On the panel were Joyce Kasosa of the Zambia Police Service, Rebecca Mulengwa Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Human Rights Commission and Mr. Crispin Akufuna from Electoral Commission Zambia (ECZ) and Chibuta of the Zambia National Women’s Lobby.
The public was promoted to send in their questions using the Twitter hashtag #ZEICSummit. The Question and Answer session which ran from 9:30AM to 12:00PM saw a wide range of questions being asked by the public and allowed them to hear directly from those who handle the various aspects of the electoral process.
Questions from the public ranged from concerns over security on Election Day, procedures to report electoral malpractices as well as many other necessary questions were brought up. The session bridged the gap between the citizen and these organisations by making them conveniently accessible on the online chat. It also closed the expectation gap of the different roles each of the organisation’s play in the process, as a lot of misconceptions as to exactly who was responsible for what were evident by the questions asked.
In response to the various questions, the ECZ assured the people of a free and fair election despite the concerns that they have. ACC spoke on their work around voter sensitization with the Transparency International Zambia on how it is working with other partners around potential election malpractice. The Zambia Police representative present assured the people of their preparedness to handle the election and ensure peace prevails during the voting period, and beyond it.
The levels of engage were high and saw the #ZEICSummit hash tag go on to trend for over three days after the event. The discussions filtered on throughout the following week with multiple shares from the @ZEIC_2016 Twitter platform.