Monday, June 24, 2024

Mapatizya Formular: The worst enemy to free polls

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Hakainde Hichilema( L) and Solwezi Central UPND MP Watson Lumba
Hakainde Hichilema( L) and Solwezi Central UPND MP Watson Lumba

ON May 4, 2005, the UPND held a Press briefing to announce the name of their adopted candidate for the by-elections on June 9,, 2005 for Kalulushi on the Copperbelt and Mapatizya in Kalomo, Southern Province.

The UPND adopted Ackson Sejani as candidate for Mapatizya. Sejani was a former minister of Local Government in the Frederick Chiluba government.

At this conference, Mr Sejani announced that he had declared what he termed as a ‘’Jihad Political War’’. He alleged that the war was directed against the MMD’s “electoral corruption and rigging”.

During the subsequent political campaigns, Mr Sejani’s campaign team organised a ‘militia’ that attacked government vehicles, impounded food supply convoys, held meetings without permits and harassed government ministers and caused wanton mayhem against the MMD camp.

Southern Province Minister, then Alice Simango, was forced to transfer certain police officers accusing them of failing to prevent attacks against Government ministers, citizens and MMD members from the UPND.

The PF also appeared to adopt the strategy in Kalulushi where its cadres went to disrupt an MMD rally in Chambishi, which resulted in violent clashes. Mr Sejani proceeded to win this election.

This model is now popularly known as the “Mapatizya Formula” in the UPND. It involves the disregard of the law and the taking of the law in their own hands.

The formula also promotes anarchy to ‘’correct and prevent rigging.’’ It also encourages cadres to resort to violent methods every time they suspect electoral malpractice and unfair campaign methods. It also encourages officials to disregard the authority of the police, or ECZ officials who are deemed to be part of the ‘’rigging infrastructure’’.

On June 16, 2005, Civil Society Groupings led by FODEP president then Sam Mulafulafu condemned the elections as not being free and fair owing to the high level of intimidation, violence and corruption.

He stated that the elections defied, violated and breached Regulation 51, and Section 18 of the Electoral Act, Cap 13 of the Laws of Zambia. He also feared that the level of violence would impact negatively the upcoming 2006 General Elections.

The Milanzi and Mufumbwe by-elections

Clearly the scenario of the Mapatizya and Kalulushi by-elections replayed itself in the Milanzi and Mufumbwe by-elections.

When Hakainde Hichilema took over the UPND from the late Anderson Kambela Mazoka, he attempted to bring clean and issue based politics. He also tried to shed off the tribal tag that his party wore for many years.

However the electoral losses he suffered in the 2006 and 2008 contests seemed to have so deeply impacted on him that he has abandoned the very principles that made him attract admiration.

Hichilema now displays crude conduct and his speeches are characterised by threats of violence, and foul language.

It is therefore not surprising that to win the Mufumbwe seat, UPND had to resort to a discredited template – the Mapatizya Formula.

Since entering into an electoral alliance and joining forces with the Patriotic Front (PF), Mr Hichilema seems to have surpassed everyone in many ways.

Mr Hichilema’s language is more crude and foul, his conduct more thuggish and his ambitions for leadership more diseased, and he has passionately embraced whole heartedly, his partners’ worst traits that repel many important stakeholders.

This new HH, is a concern to many that thought the electoral Pact entered into between the UPND and the PF would succeed and provide credible leadership as HH was deemed to be the moderate and educated one who would balance out Mr Sata’s eccentrics and his tendencies for violence, crude language, and his lack of education.

Donors hoped that the properly structured UPND and its well enunciated leadership and policies would complement the haphazard, personalised and informal outfit of the PF to form an acceptable platform that can dislodge the MMD from power and be a counterforce against its leader Rupiah Banda.

However the radical transformation that HH has undertaken is frightening many stakeholders as where there was one political monster, there are two, where there was isolated non-issue based debates, they are multiplied and where Mr Sata attacked his political opponents, there are a barrage and torrid of insults sprayed against a wide array of political opponents by HH.

HH has also abandoned moderate and rational officials preferring the counsel of minds like his research assistants.

Many wondered what had brought the two leaders, Sata and Hichilema as they appeared to be opposites in policies and conduct. But the new HH has helped cement the Pact with this common ground. A common ground of insults and violence.

The Mufumbwe Violence

It is therefore not surprising that Mr Hichilema and his National Management Committee decided to adopt the so called Mapatizya Formula as the method of winning the Mufumbwe by-election.

The Mufumbwe by-election was very important to the UPND to prove their own analysis that claim that voters are likely to revert to the 2001 voting patterns with UPND regaining its strength. They think that the UPND has regained the so called ‘’Mazoka’s Provinces’’ and to prepare for the possible split with the PF, UPND has to be seen to have capacity to win the forthcoming 2011 General Elections alone.

Therefore to give credence to this flawed analysis, it was important that Mufumbwe was won- at all cost.

In this election, Mr Hichilema copied the campaign tactics of Mr Sata and chose to camp in Mufumbwe during the entire campaign period.

The UPND transported known violent cadres from Lusaka and the Copperbelt and formed ‘’crack squads’’ to ‘’match the William Banda Militia’’.

When the campaigns were underway, the MMD campaign teams were joined by cadres from Lusaka and the Copperbelt. Due to the critical shortage of accommodation, the MMD cadres found themselves boarding and lodging at a school.

In line with the Mapatizya Formula, the UPND camp, when it learnt of this, decided to ransack and attack the MMD camp claiming that their presence at the school violated electoral laws as the school would be a polling station on election day.

The UPND cadres chose a period when most cadres had accompanied their leaders to political campaigns, attacked the camp, stole cadres food supplies, blankets and beer.

Upon return, the MMD cadres found their colleagues beaten and their supplies stolen. They were riled. They planned and later staged a retaliatory attack that saw Member of Parliament and UPND vice-president Richard Kapita injured in the ensuing clashes.

The press reports especially from the private media were skewed shifting the blame to the MMD and the Police.

The UPND leadership led by Mr Hichilema himself played innocent victim and stormed the police station demanding Justice.

From then on, the violence escalated between the two camps turning a peaceful quiet and serene rural district of Mufumbwe into a place of violence, running battles and all sorts of mayhem.

The violence culminated into a violent abduction and brutal beating of a police constable Elijah Chiluba on polling day, who was abducted by a group led by UPND Solwezi MP, Watson Lumba. The officer who is accused of being a former MMD cadre was treated to the Mapatizya Formula guidelines that are ‘’intended to protect the will of the people and prevent electoral malpractice.’’

The Mufumbwe Results And Why The Dispute

Following the death of deputy minister Nasim Hamir, a new by-election poll was called for the Chitambo seat in Serenje for 9th August 2009.

The MMD picked Solomon Musonda while the PF/UPND picked Mutale Chanda as its candidates.

During the heated campaigns that followed with Mr Sata claiming that he would beat the MMD, Vice-President George Kunda made a startling allegation few days before the poll.

Mr Kunda alleged that polling officials, who are mostly teachers were attempting to manipulate the poll in favour of the PF.

This allegation surprised many as allegations of rigging have always come from the opposition. Many wondered how the opposition could rig an election. The allegation by Mr Kunda was therefore dismissed with contempt with his opponents describing the MMD as a desperate party that was about to lose the election and creating excuses for their impending loss.

The condemnation also came from union leaders who demanded an apology from Mr Kunda as they found his allegations against professional colleagues of fraud and vote tampering totally unfounded and unfair.

But Mr Kunda’s alarm bells seemed to have worked as fraud was prevented and the MMD proceeded to retain the seat with Solomon Musonda beating the PF candidate with 3,149 votes against 1,803 votes.

Therefore the allegation by the MMD that Mufumbwe seat was stolen from them by the UPND might appear incredulous and is likely to receive similar skepticism as Mr Kunda’s allegations in the Chitambo election.

The ECZ and Allegations of Election Rigging

The opposition have always raised allegations of tampering of results accusing the MMD of colluding with the ECZ to ‘‘rig’’ elections.

ECZ does not have enough staff to conduct successful elections. The body therefore depends on temporary staff it employs to conduct elections.

Teachers, who have usually conducted polls on behalf of the ECZ have been found suitable as they are sufficiently educated and are government employees that can be relied upon to carry-out such exercises since they are sworn and bound by similar oaths of secrecy in their jobs.

Teachers have been part of the election process since 1991. Recent attempts and proposals by the ECZ to employ outsiders to conduct national elections were met with stiff resistance by stakeholders as everyone trusted and proffered the judgment of teachers and feared that employing unknown outsiders such as school leavers to conduct an election ‘’could be manipulated by the Intelligence’’. Teachers are found across the country and even in the remotest parts of the country. Their credentials are verifiable and are of known abodes.

Teachers Rigging Elections

Many acknowledge that the MMD has suffered so many defections and break-aways that some senior members who participated in certain activities, such as Mr Sejani (former MMD Chairman for Elections), ‘’take’’ the secrets to the opposition and either, help prevent voter manipulation, tampering and fraud or use the infrastructure to ‘’rig’’ the elections for themselves or their candidates.

It is for this reason that the allegation by MMD Campaign manager in Mufumbwe by-election, Daniel Kalenga that the UPND connived and engaged polling agents to manipulate the election is not misplaced and should be taken seriously.

Mr Kalenga states that the MMD clearly won the election and have verifiable and corroborative evidence that certain teachers who were polling agents manipulated results against the party.

National Secretary, Dr. Katele Kalumba has also announced that the MMD has overwhelming evidence that the UPND were engaged in electoral malpractice through selected agents the party seemed to have infiltrated! He has since announced that the MMD will petition the results.

Mr Kalenga gave the example of Kampushi Polling Station where MMD scored 212 but during the tallying of votes, electoral officials reflected only 112 votes. He accuses the officials of deliberately under-counting by over 100 votes. He also gave another example of Kabipupu polling station which has only 56 registered voters but recorded a voter turnout of over 200!

Mr Kalenga also complained that ballot boxes were brought in without mandatory seals. He also complained that the fraudulent result manipulation was widespread and appeared to have been replicated in other stations.

The MMD have also not escaped any blame. The UPND have accused the MMD of vote-buying and bribery alleging that the MMD was paying up to K200,000 to individual potential voters.

Now, the allegation against the MMD is the known and constant allegations in elections. But the UPND is accused of not bribery, but the systematic fraudulent manipulation of results. The party is accused of participating in institutional rigging of the election!

Many fear that the allegations against the UPND might backfire against the MMD whose moral authority will be taken away since it has always parried allegations of rigging as fantasy.

Conclusion

Whatever the case, the Mufumbwe by-election has revealed dark activities in elections. Elections are managed by the ECZ and it should be responsible for this mess. How can outsiders infiltrate the conduct of elections in this manner? The integrity of the ECZ and its officials is at stake.

The insistence by many that the Mufumbwe seat should not be petitioned since it will be a can of worms and might reveal the very electoral tricks used in elections in the past, is nonsense.

It is imperative that our elections are conducted in a free and fair manner. We also need to expunge from the process fraud and malpractices as the so called tricks can be used against any candidates and subvert the will of the people-which is the highest crime as clearly demonstrated in Mufumbwe.

The violence as adopted by the UPND in their policy of the Mapatizya Formula is a danger to national security. The UPND should be made to abandon and own up this criminal method of electioneering as it could be a recipe for break-down of peace and order in the 2011 Elections.

The ECZ through its spokesperson, Cris Akufuna, have condemned the violence and promised to take unknown punitive actions against the erring party.

The police have since arrested UPND MP, Watson Lumba charging him with offences of abduction and assaulting a police officer.

Mr Hichilema as a national leader has a bound responsibility to promote peace and not chaos, to exercise restraint and not promote anarchy. It is criminal for him to seek recourse using violent means. The adoption of the Mapatizya Formula to counter legitimate claims of electoral malpractices reflects him as desperate and keen to go to criminal extents to wrestle power from the MMD.

[Times of Zambia]

33 COMMENTS

  1. Some of these useless stories, you never know what goes in the mind of such childish authors. Imwe bapumbafu, get it in your thick heads that time is up for the MMD. regardless of such stupid and shallow propaganda, time is simply up. for once ask KK. he thought he was dreaming when the election results were announced only to be trounced by a midget-kafupi. do we have to sing songs in order for you to come out of your never ending trances? mapatizya or no mapatizya, we are fed up with mediocrity.

  2. lelo lelo:d/ naimikosela league, you thought you will forever be in govt, the tide has changed and never take the docile zambian for granted as he has an arsenal of red cards. KK zwa, kafupi third term zwa, and now the MMD zwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  3. Biased story……sad to read but please yourselves anyway…..

    I am a Language and writing specialist. I at least know that when one is writing something of significance the contact details and the name of the author must be appended for further interaction….seeing that non are on this article…it is not worth a read.

  4. So if the teachers were rigging elections in favor of the MMD, why cant they do it in favor of those paying well? mind you what goes round does not go in a straight line, it simply comes round and hits you right on your nose, na mbo!:d

  5. “Mapatizya Formula” is the way to go now, otherwise MMD will continue ruling even with the minority votes. Long live the Pact! Long live Zambia!

  6. Katie Good and anyone in the know….what is the name of Times of Zambia Chief Editor,i know Ms. M.Zimba is deputy.plse

  7. THE WRITER IS FEELING THE HEAT FROM THE PACT. IF YOU ARE LIVING ON MMD MONEY, SORRY TIME IS UP DEAR, NO MORE LUXURY. YOU ARE FEELING THE IMPACT OF HH&SATA.
    MMD ZWAAAAAAAAA….

  8. This Article is from the Times of Zambia’s feature Page and as usual it hasn’t disappointed it expectation Desperate times calls for desperate measures the Author has not even been mentioned what do you expect could be Mwata,Senior Citizen, Mr Capitalist or even Katie Bad.

  9. From simple analysis there are hidden agendas by the writer of this story. my advice is “be fair in analyzing all the stories otherwise you can easily mislead shallow minded people”
    The stories seem to only have one side that is the presumable wrong things the PACT does.
    The writer: you should also capture some stories from other news papers apart from MMD-times of Zambia. it gives a clear picture for everyone to analyze issues.
    if you always watch BBC, Sky News, France24 and CNN you will never know anything about the suffering of people in Gaza not until you watch Aljazeera and Presstv
    in short, a person who is only one sided in thinking is a danger to society. That’s why for MMD leaders, poor Zambians should die at UTH while them it should be in SA

  10. The usual bullshit from the Govt mouthpiece. Dont they ever get tired? People dont want the MMD so your attempt to shift the blame on others will not work.
    We know what to expect with the likes of that thug William Banda.Lets face it, RB is responsible for the violence and no amount of hoodwinking will work.
    No wonder times of zambia no longer sells coz of goons and hoodlums like you!

  11. Mr Kalenga gave the example of Kampushi Polling Station where MMD scored 212 but during the tallying of votes, electoral officials reflected only 112 votes. He accuses the officials of deliberately under-counting by over 100 votes. He also gave another example of Kabipupu polling station which has only 56 registered voters but recorded a voter turnout of over 200!
    What an i.d.i.o.t this Kalenga is, who’s got capacity to print extra ballots between UPND and MMD. They got double played by villagers and he think we that daft to buy their story, truth be told UPND is as popular as MMD and UNIP are in Eastern Province. Next time they give extra ballots to refugees they should make sure that they actually cross on their candidate or they will be disappointed again.

  12. The MMD under the terrible leadership has failed to beat the only sensible opposition political party, the mighty UPND, in the two by-elections in Northwestern Province.

    On “Mr Hichilema’s language is more crude and foul, his conduct more thuggish and his ambitions for leadership more diseased, and he has passionately embraced whole heartedly, his partners’ worst traits that repel many important stakeholders” who is insulting HH? I thought it is the President on dog issue.

    I hope the Mapatizya formula will be used more in upcoming elections so that the MMD is sent packing in 2011 tripartite elections from administering GRZ.

    Have a blessed day all and congrats UPND.
    _
    Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be…

  13. why cant the MMD just accept that they are the perpetrators of violence. if indeed it is true that the opposition was responsible for the violence they would all have been arrested by now. the violence should be condemned and to ensure that there is no repeat of violence William Banda must be deported. we have always been knownto be peaceful, it shold remain that way.

  14. It’s interesting to note that the MMD propaganda machinery has now shifted to UPND. This tells you that they are feeling the heat of UPND organisational strategies on the ground. UPND must doing something right. It appears they have managed to penetrate the MMD heartland(proof is the twovictories in N/W bye elections). With Mwanawasa and Teta’s demise UPND appear to have won over the pro Mwanawasa voters in Central, Northwestern and Western provinces. As observed by former MMD N/W youth chairman, Mwala(ref yesterday’s post) these provinces are inter-related and usually back the same party. Also the turnout in the last presidential elections was 49% and a good majority of those who did not vote were HH supporters who were discouraged by the potrayal of the elections as a contest…

  15. MMD propaganda. The LT should do a lot better, who knows, perhaps next year the PF-UPND will be the government. 😕

  16. Actually, there was a Sakulanda Organisation bus which came very early in the morning on voting day and it is believed this bus ferried MMD voters from Solwezi. The bus was in Mufumbwe the whole day on Thursday and Friday. NOw the writer makes some fundamental revelations on how MMD rigs elections. He says MMD has suffered defections of late and people Like Sejani who were chairmen of elections in MMD have sold the secret to the opposition. This writer in his foolishness could not see that he is exposing his own party, the MMD! Look UPND has intelligent leaders. ALL members of parliament from Southern Province were in Mufumbwe campaigning and camping in hard-to-reach areas. No-wonder their success. MMD should concede defeat. Jokes aside, UPND won. on the 212 votes, clearly MMD wanted to st

  17. Guys, on the much cried about 212 votes for MMD. get the truth. Truth’s on voting day, there seemed to be problems at this polling station and after voting, UPND Veep Richard Kapita pursuaded the district electoral officer and Mufumbwe council secretary Kamalondo and others to go to this polling station. The election officers were opposed because it was a bit far and probably, that’s where MMD wanted to steal votes from. nevertheless, they went amid complaints. When they reached the polling station, indeed they found counting going on and they witnessed. They even wrote the tallies on the door of the room used as the polling station. At the totalling centre, the score 112 for MMD and 374 UPND was recorded. After about three hours, an ECZ officer comes to the returning officer, whispers…

  18. After that the returning officer announces that they have to change the tally to read 212 for MMD. This is where controversy arose and the matter was only resolved after UPND made a conditional concession, off course after they saw that Kamondo had a comfortable lead even without the extra 100 votes to be given to MMD.
    AND UPND leader HH was not violent. He had no time for such. Actually, while campaigning, he lost his mother in Lusaka so he had to abandon campigns to attend to the funeral. Actually on the day kakoma and others were attacked by MMD thugs whose activities were facilitated by police under Kabonde, HH was due to leave Mufumbwe for Lusaka to attend to the funeral. He was even delayed to resolve the violence issue. MMD should be ashamed. They lost and they will continue to…

  19. We need to get to the bottom of the truth, therefore let the courts decide. Either an Inquiry is held or the elections are petitioned so that evidence can be adduced and tested.

  20. whoever wrote this article lacks analysis and is too much of MMD cadre. despite all the evidence that violence in mumfumbwe was caused by MMD he still cant get is trying too hard to defend murderers and criminals. shame! shame!

  21. If mapatizya formula restrict MMD from rigging, then it should be an approved formula by opposition. The MMD militia were countered and beaten.. Net time the police should also be beaten if they take sides

  22. If Mapatizya formula is what it takes to prevent rigging by the MMD, so be it, let it be replicated accross th entire country. We do not want defeated MPs in our parliament enacting laws for us when we did not vote for the to do so in the first plce becuse such people would only have alligience to their masters and in this case the MMD. Have you not ever wondered why the likes of Mabenga, Munaile etc would never say anything contra to Kanitundila line?

  23. The MMD, including the great Man, VJ have always claimed that rigging in Zambia is not possible under the current electoral code. Even my Brother MMD CHIEFBOOTLICKER has in the past categorically stated on this very blog that rigging is an “Urban Myth”. What has has gone wrong this time around?

  24. LT u,a just ful of n.o.n.s.e.s !! all of u at LT are just useless!! to hell with yo mmd!! malabish!!

  25. #8, 11 Thank you for the compliments.

    #15, have you changed your name from Mahehele something like that?

    But we eagerly await the petition, MMD please don’t grow cold feet.

  26. the author says mapatisya formula is when opposition members take it upon themselves to prevent MMD from rigging elections like stopping abuse of state machinery, donating food stuffs to the electorate or manipulating the electoral process.he goes on to say former MMD members in the opposition are well aware of these tactics and know exactly how to stop them. there is nothing wrong with this. what is wrong is when MMD turns to violence to insist on enforcing their grand schemes. then the opposition resists and all hell breaks loose. the MMD has direct control of the electoral process and when officials follow the law againist them the MMD cries foul. who is to blame?

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