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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Political analysts express mixed feelings over virtual campaign rallies

Feature Politics Political analysts express mixed feelings over virtual campaign rallies

Political Analysts have expressed mixed feeling over the move by political parties to undertake virtual campaign rallies with concerns to disenfranchise the rural community.

Political Scientist Alex N’goma who is a lecturer and researcher in the School of Humanities at the University of Zambia (UNZA) has described the initiative by political parties to hold virtual rallies as positive for the country’s democracy.

Dr Ng’oma told ZANIS in an interview that virtual rallies present a good opportunity for politicians to interact with the electorate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said reaching voters using this method is better than totally not carrying out any kind of campaign rallies.

Dr Ng’oma however said other forms of campaigns like adverts and programmes via traditional media should complement virtual political rallies.

“This can be supplemented by other measures like the use of social media platforms. The use of radio and TV discussions, all these methods combined together can amount to something,” he said.

However Political Analyst, Neo Simutanyi noted that virtual political party rallies have the potential to disenfranchise rural voters.

Speaking in a separate interview, Dr Simutanyi said the electorate in rural parts of the country may not have access to smart devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

Dr Simutanyi explained that in as much as the initiative is a good measure in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, voters who have no access to smart devices including radio and television sets will be left out.

“A significant proportion of the population will be left out. Although these are very important measures, political parties should have it under consideration that they will not reach every person,” he said.

Political parties including the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), United Party for National Development (UPND) and Socialist Party have in the recent past embarked on virtual campaign rallies

Last month, the Electoral Commission of Zambia announced the suspension of campaign rallies ahead of the August 12, 2021 elections following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

7 COMMENTS

  1. ALEX YOU ARE ANOTHER FOOLISH STUPID SO CALLED EDUCATED
    PERSON THAT I HAVE COME ACROSS THIS COUNTRY .

    WAKEUP , LETS SEE HOW FAR WE GO

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  2. Chapter 419 of Nigeria Criminal Code Act. Any person who by any false pretence, and with intent to defraud, obtains from any other person anything capable of being stolen, or induces any other person to deliver to any person anything capable of being stolen, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years. Transported to Zambia this includes stealing votes, innocence, virginity etc

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  3. Ba Maganizo, the law you have cited is also available in the Zambian penal code. Remember that Nigeria, like Zambia, is a Commonwealth country which inherited its legal system from the British legal system. In Zambia, the law is called Obtaining goods (or money) by false pretences . But what has that to do with the issue raised in this article? Your comment appears to be out of context. Of course that’s my personal opinion.

  4. Dr Neo Simutanyi, have you ever been to rural Zambia? This is the same mistake arm chair academics made in Malawi. The internet is everywhere nowadays. I have seen people with mobile phones accessing social media in villages which do not have electricity except for a car battery. Those who ignore this means of campaigning do so at their own risk.

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