The Governance, Elections, Advocacy, Research Services Initiative has observed with concern the electioneering going on in Katuba ahead of the pending by-election.
GEARS Initiative Zambia Executive Director McDonald Chipenzi has alleged the unabated appetite by the Ministry of Health to use elections as a conduit for electoral bribery.
Mr. Chipenzi said this happened in Sesheke, Bahati among others where the Ministry, through its Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya has been donating, imitating and commissioning health related facilities to prospective voters in by-election areas.
He said the recent reported donation of an ambulance and other promises offered by Dr. Chilufya ahead of the Katuba by-election even when the ECZ has not yet announced the election date is very unfortunate and an electoral illegality and bribery.
Mr. Chipenzi has reminded Dr. Chilufya and his colleagues to be mindful of the provisions of law as they try to impress the voters before and during by-elections.
He said the actions of Dr. Chilufya in Katuba who donated an ambulance are against the provisions of Electoral Process Act 2016 section 81 as it is described as “bribery”.
“Section 81(1) States that “a person shall not, either directly or indirectly or by oneself or with any other person corruptly offer, promise or agree to give any money to a voter or any person on behalf of a voter or for the benefit of a voter in order to induce that voter to vote at any election”, he added further stating that subsection 1(c) criminalises any person to ” make any gift, offer, promise, procurement or agreement to or for the benefit of any person in order to induce the person to procure or endeavor to procure the vote of any voter at any election”.
Mr. Chipenzi said such a person commits an offence under this act and it goes without saying that Dr Chitalu Chilufya is not above the law and must be persecuted.
He has called on the Anti-Corruption Commission to take keen interest on the activities of Dr. Chitalu Chilufya as his activities are clear acts of bribery which is an offence under the electoral Law.