Gears Executive Director Macdonald Chipenzi
Gears Executive Director Macdonald Chipenzi

GEARS Initiative Zambia says the violence that occurred on 6th October, 2019 in Kaoma District which left one person dead and several injured was uncalled for and unnecessary.

And the Organisation says the arrest of United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia Leader Charles Chanda though on electoral unrelated matters, at the height of the campaigns could have a tow on his party’s poor showing in Kaoma.

Organisation Executive Director McDonald Chipenzi said the continued violence during by-elections is a clear sign of lack of reasoning capacities of political players leading to intolerance.

Mr Chipenzi said after a careful analysis of the by-elections, GEARS Initiative’s observation is that playing field in these local by-elections wasn’t leveled.

He said other than violence, the by-elections in Kaoma, Mwinilung’a and Kabompo were characterized by all sorts of malpractices such as abuse of state resources by the party in power and selective application of the law.

Mr Chipenzi said Joint agreed Campaign schedules were threatened by the wanton behaviour of the executive who could fly into the campaign and out of Kaoma at will even when it was not their day to do so, a potential act of provocation and violence during campaigns.

He said the Electoral Commission of Zambia despite its failure to have its Voter Education Facilitators reach out to each and every Polling Station in Kaoma District, for example, Maheba, its decision to proceed with the by-elections on 10th October, 2019 must be commended with sincerity.

However, Mr Chipenzi said the failure by those tasked to enforce the electoral Code of Conduct led to the ruling PF wantonly abusing state resources with senior civil servants such as Permanent Secretaries, some District Commissioners and some Provincial Medical Officers all visibly providing a helping hand to the ruling party to PF Kaoma campaign team.

Mr Chipenzi said his organization noticed high activities in the distribution of food stuffs, bicycles or their spares and the use of government vehicles whose number plates were removed in all the by-elections especially Kaoma.

In Mwinilunga’s Samuteba ward, Mr Chipenzi said relief food in 12.5 kg mealie-meal bags were ferried by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit to the ward for distribution despite the district being declared food secure.

He said it has become clear that DMMU has become an effective arm used in elections through food distribution by those in power to canvass electoral support.

“We also noted the uncensored use of blackmail language by government and ruling party officials such as no development for voting the ruling party’s opponents in a by-election. GEARS Initiative observed that opposition agents lacked food and campaign materials such as wrappers (chitenge) for their members which their opponents exploited to an extent where even the President could throw these wrappers to the people through the window”, he added.

Mr Chipenzi said the ECZ should provide guidance on whether or not the ruling party is now allowed to employ and deploy government officials and state utilities thereof as part of the ruling party electoral campaign resources base!

In Kaoma District, Mr Chipenzi said his Organisation saw more state officers involved in partisan politics openly canvassing electoral support for the ruling party through driving “unregistered” vehicles or removed number plates.

He said the Road Traffic and Safety Agency and the Road Traffic Section of Zambia Police Service should explain to the nation how and why it has been allowing unregistered vehicles to flood by-elections areas without them taking action.

He said from the just-ended local government by-elections and those before the country, it seems clear that RTSA and Road Traffic section of Zambia Police Service are now an accomplice to encouraging electoral malpractices in the electoral process by tolerating use of unregistered vehicles just like what has become of DMMU with relief food.

“Sadly, we also observed the ugly face of violence with the UPND supporters damaging windscreens of two vehicles of some PF supporters and also the windows of the PF District Office which was unnecessary and uncivil”, he said

And Mr Chipenzi said some parties did not deploy their party agents in some polling stations such as Mangango’s Chilombo, Maheba and Kashinzi remained unmanned by some political parties and those deployed were never looked after well by their respective parties in terms of logistics such as food, water, transport which is a recipe for maimed and vulnerable observation.

He has since demanded explanation and position from the ECZ on the alleged Ballot Boxes with ballot papers found at the collation centre during tallying process which almost disrupted the process in Kaoma.

“If true the ballot boxes were not part of the ordinary ones as alleged by the opposition, our question is who wanted to sneak them into the collation centre and what did the Commission do to the people involved? Such scenarios if went unexplained has potential to dent the commission’s reputation and the integrity of an election process”, he added

Mr Chipenzi said as long as the code of conduct remains a redundant electoral law and regulation, Zambia should not expect any integrity in the electoral process.

He said the country’s electoral process shall remain a highly contested arena years to come.

[Read 842 times, 1 reads today]
Loading...

15 COMMENTS

  1. Pf is all to blame for this and one does not need to be a genius to see this. We call upon all stake holders to call a spade what it is and to be confident enough to call out pf for its crimes against humanity. As upnd we are saddened by the laissez affair of you NGOs who are just sleeping and eating aid money

    5

    6
    • It won’t hurt to close Zambia for the entire 2020, and reopen it 1st January 2021. Close it!!
      Just 1 year of peace will be something….

      2

      0
    • Political violence is because the Commander in Chief has ceded his powers to cadres, simple doesn’t care and is clueless on almost anything

      2

      1
    • Please stop these nonsensical editorials…stop focusing and writing about violence….lets focus on development…stop being like western media which focuses on violence and bad news all day…lets move forward stop evoking violence of the past please

      0

      1
  2. I would fault the ruling party for the anarchies, they have every resource at their disposal to maintain peace and order, But it seems they thrive well in confusion because they don’t know how to do the right thing

    8

    2
  3. We have being saying these elections are not UPND and HH against PF and lungu but UPND and HH against PF , lungu , ZAF, ZP , Zambia Army and the whole GRZ….

    On top of competing against the whole GRZ at the ballot box , the opposition has to contend with violence and brutality by PF police in the field…. …..

    5

    1
  4. This is a very serious warning to UPND , if you don’t arm your supporters with video recording systems, you will lose through brutality of PF.

    You need to arm your caders and media wings with concelled video recording devices and you will see international sanctions rightfully placed on lungu…..

    4

    2
  5. If Chimpanzee was genuine, why didn’t they confiscate those stuffed ballots and show the whole world?? It’s all upnd fake news to charge up their supporters. Bahati had a parliamentary by election but not a single incident. Same with Eastern province. Then it all happens in the tribal strongholds of barotseland?? Even a child would wonder how?? Kasale inda pachipato chakwa kainde kolwe iwe!!

    0

    1
    • That’s because opposition are not allowed to campain in PF areas.

      There is no free campaining…..everything is controlled by PF to make sure they win.

      In areas where there is free campaigning , like in upnd areas, PF know they will lose and they resort to violence and intimidation….

      1

      0
    • That is becsuse in pf strong holds , there is no free campaining, opposition are not allowed to campain. Everything is controlled by PF and their police.

      In areas where campains are free to all , PF can never win and resort to violence and intimidation.

      1

      0
  6. All these barbaric acts are unZambian. All these things are imported from South Africa through their malls and retail shops. Zambians are smart, educated and civilised.

    1

    0
  7. The days of Lungu and PF winning elections without intimidation and violence and using GRZ to win elections are none existent , maybe with sata PF had a chance , not anymore…..

    Lungu can never win without using the whole GRZ and violence and intimidation…

    0

    0
  8. I have a suggestion, since you as an NGO that is concerned with elections in Zambia, is it not possible to test these allegations to court so that courts can pronounce their position? Is there such a law that permit taking a political party or indeed election body to court for failure to enforce electoral Act? Basically, it’s not the political player’s fault but that of the election body which is supposed to be independent that is at fault. If they enforce the provisions of the law, they would disqualify even the ruling party and discipline can prevail. It’s not just about organizing elections but also enforcing the laws that govern it. Why accept to be head if one can be manipulated? So it might be helpful to go to courts to help them have a ruling that they should be doing their mandate.

    0

    0
  9. There is only one person who allows violence in this country and unfortunately he is the only person who can make an end to it. Don’t blame everyone point at the problem and start forcing

    1

    0
  10. Why should a parent compete with his children at his on home, and say if the first born son is not buying bread then we all are not going to eat. That shows that he has lost his fatherhood.

    0

    0

Comments are closed.