ELECTIONS UNDER A NEW NORMAL

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THE Electoral Commission of Zambia has announced standard oerational procedures ained at ensuring that this year’s elections are held within the Covid-19 guidelines.

Certified voters stand at 7, 023,499 with the electoral body planning to ensure Public Health guidelines are followed for the duration of the election period.

The onus now falls on political parties, civil society and the media to popularise the protocols.

The August 12 General Elections will be conducted under new rules with pilitical parties and aspiring candidates expected to abide by Covid-19 prevention guidelines, and voters expected to adhere to the the five basic rules.

Despites the rill out of the national vaccination campaign, there is still need to maintain Covid-19 prevention.

Yet again the media will be expected to play its role in informing and educating the public.

Recently, Northern Province Health Director, Lawrence Phiri said the media as agents of change should help to create awareness to the  public so that people can start accessing the vaccine.

He indicated that the media is a critical stakeholder and a valuable source of information for the masses as it cuts across boundaries.

Dr. Phiri explained that it is therefore important for the media to develop clear, accurate, and consistent communication which is responsive to people’s needs and influences positive behavior towards the vaccine.

“There are a number of myths and misconceptions about the safety and efficiency of the vaccine but it’s your role as the media to ensure that you help in addressing any misconceptions, disinformation and rumors concerning the vaccine,” he said.

It s impressive that over 81,000 people have so far been vaccinated.

Life under the new normal must be normalised if we are to avoid catastrophic break outs.

Election campaigns have been identified as super spreader events and it is hoped tat athe election period begins, citizens will act responsibly.

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