The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has expressed concern that the ruling MMD has allowed Mufumbwe MMD parliamentary losing candidate, Mulondwe ’s son Kajilo to get involved in the preparatory campaigns ahead of the pending by-election in the area.
The organisation’s Acting Executive Director McDonald Chipenzi says in a statement to ZANIS , today, that Kajilo’s active engagement in the Mufumbwe campaigns will have serious repercussions as it will generate a lot of anxiety among stakeholders.
Mr Chipenzi says in the statement that Kajilo’s activities in the previous Mufumbwe by-election, which UPND’s Elliot Kamondo won, were inimical to the promotion of free and fair electoral process.
“ We would like to strongly urge the MMD to desist from using such characters in the campaigns because it has the potential of being a source of conflict. In the case of Kajilo, his involvement might ignite old memories among the electorate and could lead to people rising against each other,” says the FODEP chief.
Lusaka High Court Judge in Charge Philip Musonda on December 15, 2010, declared as null and void the election of opposition UPND member of parliament Eliot Kamondo.
Judge Musonda ruled in line with losing MMD candidate Mulondwe Muzungu who submitted that the atmosphere in Mufumbwe was not conducive for a free and fare election as a result of violent campaigns.
The Judge said there was overwhelming evidence from both the defendants and petitioners indicating that electorates in the constituency voted under volatile conditions.
However, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has described as unfair the nullification of Mufumbwe member of parliament Eliot Kamondo’s election by the Lusaka High Court.
The organisation has for this reason appealed to MMD to use people who respect and upholds human rights and the country’s laws in their campaigns rather than using people with dented background.
FODEP, he adds, is very uncomfortable with Kajilo’s involvement in Mufumbwe by-election campaigns for fear of igniting the electoral violence that ensued in the last election. It has also urged the MMD to advise Kajilo to take a background role in these campaigns.
The civil organisation says it is also concerned with political parties’ failure to observe the provisions of law regarding the official campaign period.
“ We have observed with regret that the aspiring parties to contest Mufumbwe and Mporokoso have already started their campaigns despite the case being in court and Electoral Commission of Zambia not yet officially announced the date of the two by-elections respectively, “ says Mr Chipenzi.
He reasons that there is need to review the electoral Act so that the provisions regarding the official campaign period are strengthened and penalties spelt out against political parties that kick-start their campaigns before the Commission announces the campaign period.