NICE turns to social media for voter education

In a desperate attempt to reduce voter apathy, National Initiative for Civic Education Trust (NICE) in Chiradzulu has turned to social media to sensitise voters in readiness for the July 2 fresh presidential poll.

Apart from the traditional mode of communication like use of IEC materials, road shows and meetings, the Trust has engaged WhatsApp groups where electoral messages being are shared.

This is an apparent reaction to last year’s high voter apathy where over 30,000 registered voters did not cast their votes.

The district registered 145,677 voters out of which 107, 835 turned up for the exercise.

In an interview, NICE Assistant District Civic Education Officer for Chiradzulu, Rodgers Chapsinja said in the wake of Covid-19, the Trust is geared to reach out to many people with electoral messages through various means.

Chapsinja’s remarks come barely a week after DPP District Governor, Joseph Mwapeya Kaliwo and MCP District Chairman, Dyson Lisanjala, expressed their dismay over information gaps pertaining to the election.

According to the two leaders, they are not getting electoral messages on time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But Chapsinja said NICE Chiradzulu is ready to woo more people to vote come June 23.

He mentioned loudhailing, writing letters to religious institutions that will be read during prayers and use of WhatsApp group messages and posters, as some forms of relaying messages to the people.

On WhatsApp messages he said “so far we have 16 groups from churches, mosques, bank mkhondes, youth networks and entrepreneurs. What happens is we send electoral information to Administrators of these groups who later share it with their members.

“We hope that by doing that, we are casting our net wider, leaving no one behind”.

Apart from this, the Trust is also distributing IEC materials, and deploying volunteers to conduct mass sensitization through door to door, villages, markets, wards and constituencies to achieve high voter turn up.