Ruling Patriotic Front (PF) Media Director, Antonio Mwanza has dismissed the report by the Transparency International Zambia(TIZ) alleging that the party had spent K6.05 million on Billboards.
Reacting to the report by TIZ that parties spent a combined total of K10 million on Billboard advertising, Mr. Mwanza said it was political mischief for TIZ to make unfounded statements lacking sound facts, disclosing that most of the Billboards were placed by well-wishers and party supporters.
Mr. Mwanza said that said when the initial report from TIZ came out, the party did an inventory and survey on the Billboards and estimated costs and established that the report was highly inaccurate and distorted.
Mr. Mwanza expressed gratitude to the many entities that have supported the party in its campaigns through moral, material, and financial support.
Mr. Mwanza urged TIZ not to abuse processes to cast bad light in the PF and urged Zambians to dismiss the new report as it was speculative and inaccurate.
Mr. Mwanza said the PF understands that TIZ is under pressure to impress its donors in a bid to secure funding but that such theatrics should not be done at the expense of the truth.
According to the TIZ report, the six political parties spent a minimum of K10.366 million on presidential candidate billboards across the country, of which, the PF accounts for at least K6.05 million, followed by the Socialist party at K2.26 million and the UPND at K1.31 million. The least spending on presidential billboard advertising for the month of June was by NAREP at K60,000.
TIZ in their monitoring of presidential candidate billboards for the month of June in 12 districts across all 10 provinces also revealed that Lusaka has the majority of billboards in Zambia.
The report further found that out of a minimum of 674 presidential candidate billboards found in the 12 towns, Lusaka accounted for 79.5% or 536 billboards in total, with Ndola second on that list with 38 billboards or 5.6% of the 674 found in the 12 districts. Other notable districts were Chipata with 25 billboards, Choma and Kitwe with 10 each, Solwezi with 17, Mongu with 9, and Kabwe with 16. Our findings also revealed that Chinsali did not have a single presidential candidate billboard in the month of June.
In terms of the distribution of presidential candidate billboards by political party in the 12 districts, our analysis revealed that for the month of June, the PF accounted for the majority of billboards at 58%, followed by the Socialist party with 18% and the UPND with 14%. The DP, NAREP and PAC collectively accounted for less than 10% of all presidential candidate billboards in the 12 districts for the month of June.
“As we have noted, it is our hope that these findings will give citizens and interested stakeholders an idea of how much political parties are spending to try and win votes ahead of the 12th August elections. TI-Z’s monitoring of campaign expenditure will continue as we head towards the 2021 general elections, the report concluded.