COMMISSION of Inquiry into Voting Patterns and Electoral Violence chairperson, Munalula Lisimba says the political violence and regional voting patterns that characterized the 2016 elections needs to be checked thoroughly.
Justice Lisimba says the patterns needed be urgently addressed as they have the potential to destroy the unity and democracy the country has
“ The root causes of these vices that preceded even in the previous elections must be established in an effort to promote a united and peaceful violent free Zambia during or after
elections in future, “ said Justice Lisimba.
He made the remarks when his team paid a courtesy call on Chief Chikanta at his Habulile’s Chuungu palace in Kalomo yesterday.
And Chikanta of the Tonga people in Kalomo district of Southern province has claimed that the voting pattern in the region in the past elections has come as a result of developmental neglect to some areas by government.
Making his submission to the Commission of Inquiry into Voting Patterns and Electoral Violence in Dundumwezi constituency of Kalomo yesterday, the traditional ruler said the voting pattern in the country is determined by the problems people are facing in a particular locale and not on ethnical grounds.
The traditional ruler , who is also Southern province royal foundation chairperson, said the voting pattern was an issue based one and cautioned politicians to avoid using hate speech as a tool to propagate their party manifestos during campaigns.
He cited out Dundumwezi constituency which occupies three quarters of his chiefdom where the electorates gave the ruling party over 30,000 votes against a paltry 225 votes in the presidential 2016 race , as a practical example.
The chief submitted that such a pattern was due to its constituents having suffered long to underdevelopment by government and even in the previous regimes despite the area being the most agriculture productive zone in the province, with no good feeders and mobile communication networks.
“People voted in such a pattern because they feel neglected and sidelined. What criteria is used to bring development to an area, you have the population and production but government seems not to be appreciating, Sometimes people do not talk but when they vote, they talk.” Chief Chikanta said.
However, the traditional leader hastened to commend President Edgar Lungu as the first one to answer to the Dundumwezi area’s demands for development.
Mobile communication towers, he pointed out, have since been installed and are operational in some parts of the constituency alongside with the upgrading of the Kalomo – Dundumwezi road which will be an all – weather standard one with the funding of the African Development Bank under the Climate Resilience project.
In the recent past, chief Chikanta has persistently lamented of poor road network, electricity grid connectivity and mobile communication facilities in the area claiming that out of the 19 constituencies in the province, only Dundumwezi was affected in that aspect.
Meanwhile, a convoy of support staff of the commission and other government officials including Kalomo district commissioner, Cosmas Chiiba’s officers that went to Dundumwezi for submissions yesterday (Friday) was temporarily prevented from crossing to the other side of the road at Muyobe stream as bridge to the area was submerged due to heavy rains forcing the team to wait for several hours until the water level subdued.