Voter Apathy is signal of voter fatigue and poverty

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A voter holding a ballot at Yosefe Primary Polling station in Mfuwe of Malambo Constituency.The people of Mambwe District yesterday exercise their rights to vote for new Member of Parliament
File picture

The just ended bye-election where only 20% of eligible voters cast their votes is on one hand a signal of voter fatigue. On the other hand, it is a signal of the extent of poverty in the nation.

Since the 2008, Zambians have been subjected to hundreds of bye-elections, punctuated by general elections. At presidential level, there have been four elections in 10 years. On average, this works out to be one presidential election every two and half years. At parliamentary and local government level, it works out at an average of holding a bye-election every month.

Surely, this level of frequency of bye-elections is likely to generate voter vatigue, and exactly is the case this time around.

Voters are simply fed up with bye-elections. This expression is loud and clear through the voter turn-out in these bye-elections.

As regard to the poverty factor, we saw multitudes of people attending rallies just a few hours before the election day. How come those multitudes evaporated over-night? Where did they go? Why were they motivated to dance and sing at the rallies but disinterested to go and vote? Why sing and dance for someone you will not go and vote for the next day? What went wrong over-night?

My view is that those multitudes we saw were largely hungry fellows attending rallies for material ends and not for governance ends. This is dangerous development for the nation because a hungry man is an angry fellow who can resort to doing desperate things.

As leaders, we need to be extremely wary of this development. My colleagues in PF should not celebrate the victory of winning the elections. Rather, they should be wary of the apathetic trend as its end results may manifest into desperate situations.

In this regard, I urge my colleague in PF to seriously consider this development as they contemplate amending the Constitution in December this year.

In various submissions made to the constitutional review commissions, the majority view has been to bring an end to bye-elections for various valid reasons. Progressive proposals were made to this end and published by President Edgar Lungu in the 2014 Final Draft Constitution when he was the Justice Minister.

It is high time the 2014 proposals are implemented to thwart desperate situations in the near future.

Peter Sinkamba

Green Party President

27 July, 2018

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43 COMMENTS

  1. kikikikiki…..this is splendid analysis. I like Sinkamba’s style of analysis of issues. He is spot on on this one

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    • No, the analysis is perforated. It is not the issue of poverty. Why didn’t those who voted give UPND victory then, if UPND is the party of choice that can deal with poverty, despite the low turn out of voters. What you are in fact implying is that people are not interested even in UPND as they don’t believe that they will eradicate poverty.

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    • This Peter is solid. Just the headline and I stopped blaming HH for horrible pick of candidates with Bemba names. Or PF for being the BORRING thugs.
      Peter needs start holding rallies to excite people. We are excited with him already.

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    • Voter apathy is in developed countries as well. Don’t be fo.oled by HH rantings

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    • I guess he has had an encounter with either chaos theory or complexity theory in his academics. Chaos theory seeks an understanding of simple systems that may change in a sudden, unexpected, or irregular way. The electoral system is one such system…..e.g growth of populism movement across the globe. Up to now, social and political scientists are trying to figure out how Trump outwitted all Republicans, and Democrats to become president of the U.S……chaos theory at work!

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    • I for once though Peter was educated and was good at analysis. This one falls short of even a simple benchmark for analyisis.

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    • I think people forget that UPND is fighting two parties, PF/MMD, When PF was in opposition, Their fight was agaist MMd only but now MMD has swallowed PF with RB has the gold father, SO the battle for UPND is even bigger, When i look at the result i feel that UPND is doing ok because they are fighting MMD/PF combined with GRZ resources, So heads up ba UPND surely your day is coming.

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  2. the weed man is more intelligent than the economists and lawyers we have in politics! do i need a commission of inquiry for this analysis and worse to run for more than two years without a report!!

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  3. Well spoken Sir..
    Unfortunately, we now have to live with Miles Sampa as head of our Capital City. God Help us…

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  4. Progressive pple with with progressive ideas are concerned about this whole scenario, while dunderheads are celebrating the voter apathy. Shame!

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    • In 2016 total votes cast for PF in Lusaka alone were 313,812. Two years later (2018), the total votes cast for PF is 81,936. This is a paltry 26% of what PF got in 2016……meaning PF lost 74% of its supporter in this election.

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  5. If that is the case by what percentage the UPND has lost in the city of Lusaka compared to2016? Coz they haven’t done well as well?

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  6. My advice to UPND and other opposition parties dont participate in the fort coming Kasenengwa parliamentary elections. you will just waste money . save your resources for 2021.

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    • I concur with you, please opposition DON’T VOTE in the kasenengwa by election. you will just waste your resources.

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  7. In 2016, UPND got 149,966 votes. In 2018 the result is 36, 753 votes. This is 25% of votes gotten in 2016. Meaning UPND has lost 75% of people that voted for the party while PF lost 74%. Results are shocking and alarming on both sides.

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    • In 2016, PF got 270,000 votes. In 2018 the result is 81,000 votes. This is 30% of votes gotten in 2016. Meaning PF has lost 74% of people that voted for the party ” Results are shocking and alarming on both sides.The worst indication is that only 14.3% turned up to vote in Lusaka.

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  8. Apathy means not caring; fatigue means being tired. A voter who once cared may become fatigued (presumably because of disgust with politicians or the process), and may thus become apathetic. Thus voter fatigue is a cause for voter apathy. Many apathetic voters never cared, though, in which case they wouldn’t be fatigued, just apathetic for some other reason.An analogy, for example, would be where a family accustomed to going to 3* hotels goes to a 4* hotel. They’re quite happy about it, there’s no need for a 5* hotel. But if one is accustomed to 4*s then to get the same reaction, we need a 5* hotel. Except for the hotels are political beliefs and the stars are a measure of extremism.

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  9. You say, “fatigue….poverty”. Maybe. Perhaps I could add a third one: None of the candidates was inspiring enough to motivate people to go and vote for him/her!

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    • On the third thesis you have suggested, how do you reconcile this argument with the dancing, singing and praise that climaxised the election campaigns as Sinkamba has observed? How can one dance, sing and praise someone who does not inspire him or her??????????? I think there is a Bbg question mark on the third thesis!

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  10. Yes indeed people where rather busy with looking for something better , like food to feed their families than waste time going to vote for people will just end up enriching themselves and their families. I carried out a simple survey after i came back from voting and the answers were almost the same everywhere……(1) Why should i go to vote when there is no water at home , (2) why should i go and vote when i have no food at home (3) Why should i go and vote when i have been voting since UNIP days and i have not seen any change etc…..I agreed with all the answers that people gave, especially to us workers, Chiluba disappointed us so much that after him we do not see any reason to go to vote more especially that he was coming from a back ground of him being a unionist. Alaa fingi !!!

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  11. Pensioners has languishing on the streets like they did something wrong for working or spending their time working in government departments…… AWEEEEEEEEEEEE! They are tired mwandi

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  12. Mbili Yakale,you are a geniusYou analysis issues with no biasness. Keep it up My brotheren .

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  13. Its simple, the reason for apathy and low turn out is because bye-elections are not planned elections and they come by due to circumstances. Regardless of the cause, PF has the back of the people and its entirely up to PF as party in Government to return the favor by keeping the momentum of taking development everywhere in its strongholds of course and rapidly so in areas where the opposition has lost grip and the PF has taken over.
    In summary, when you work hard and results show, people dont forget and they will always be on your side and i see landslide victory for President Lungu and entire PF in 2021 if they continue on this path of positive transformation and empowering the citizens.

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  14. If you don’t vote you are giving away your voice to someone who doesn’t have your interests at heart.

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  15. Last time i checked UPND lost in Chilanga,they said it was voilence and now they have lost,the goal post has changed to ECZ and poor governance from ruling party,UPND was also campaigning and failed to win even in their stronghold,their analysis is so lame and misleading.That is why they are loosing elections like no man’s bussiness.

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  16. Voter apathy will only end when the opposition are given fair coverage by state controlled media institutions and the police through the ruling party(infact through the Republican President)grants permits to hold campaign rallies freely. The late Sata never used to be denied permits to hold rallies anywhere he wanted.PF has killed democracy

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    • Whilst some parties will be busy fighting and maiming themselves in bye-elections, we the Greens will be practically testing our policies in the field…….. and making bucks….hehehehehehehehehe! Shalawambwe!!!!!!!!!!!

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  17. I suggest we make voting compulsory for eligible voters, if one doesn’t vote they should be punished preferably to doing community service.

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  18. Sinkamba seems to be good at analysing others abd not himself. Shouldn’t green party be toasting victories in the ward elections?? Look at the ground PAC and Andiford are gaining-that is a mark of a political party, not social media commentary and analysis while you call yourself a party president. This guy is a clown. It’s like a guy who finishes as the best engineering student in the country but fails all his job interviews…

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    • We the Greens have said time and time again that bye-elections are a waste of public resources, time. So we have no time and resources to waste. Let those with time and resources continue wasting these vital assets

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    • Awe, kapala iwe!! You are just useless opposition. Howdo you call yourselves politicians if you have nothing to show for it?? Even in the general elections you got nothing. Social media clowns, that’s the greens!!

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    • Zambian citizen: We the Greens are the only opposition party with a concrete agenda….the rest kuwayawaya fye. Now, government is considering implementing our agenda to bring into the economy $36 billion in the economy. We are starting to implement in the next two months.

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    • Zambian Citizen: While some parties will be busy fighting and wasting time and money in bye-elections, we the Greens will be busy testing and refining our green agenda (medical cannabis agenda) and make lots of bucks….hehehehehehehe Waumfwa!!!!shalawambwe.!!!!!!!!!!

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  19. Lazy jj, your take on Sinkamba’s theory? Not the boring Lazy this Lazy that stuff pleaseee, it leads to apathy and ensures more losses for your tribal god.

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  20. Ok jj, we know that you are busy trying to console your unconsollable your tribal god.
    My boy, leave everything to Mutinta, she knows how to handle him as she did when he returned from his holiday in Kabwe.

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  21. This is mere speculation. You need to do a quick research to get the facts on why people stayed away. Typical of zambians to disregard research and think it’s a waste of time and money. Employ think tanks to do research and analysis of such matters.

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  22. Local government elections are not worth the monies spent on organisazing them. Let the incumbent make appointments like before. After all, there’s a strong correlation between the party and people’s voting patterns than the moral standing of a person standing on a particular party.

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    • I totally agree. If a hyena or Frog could stand on any ruling party ticket, it is likely to win over any other Citizen.

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  23. just a minute. how many people know their council chairmen or women? I think less than 20% because I have tried to find out from all my family members and no one seems to know including myself. let me put it this way, do you know the mp for yo home village? if you do that’s good but…wat about the council chairman in yo home village. this is a new position and so don’t expect voters to take it seriously. there was no apathy but ignorance.

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  24. Peter has a plausible analysis. But I agree with Analyser ( 22 above) about research because to say that there were ” CROWDS” at rallies that didn’t go to vote – WHAT are the NUMBERS of the crowds? And WHO make up the crowds ( is it same crowd going from rally to rally), What DAy of the week was the crowd? etc

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  25. Rhapsody: Take for instance Saboi Imboela of the NDC who got an aggregate of 2, 645 from all 7 constituencies of the City of Lusaka. Take a look at the video of multitudes that attended the road show or indeed the rally held in Kanyama constituency by Chishimba Kambwili to drum up support for Ms. Imboela the day before elections and a few hundreds of votes she got from Kanyama constituency, numbers are not adding up. I think Sinkamba has a point

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