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Lubasenshi was a billionaire’s race – FODEP

Filed under: Breaking News,Politics |
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The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has described the just ended by-election in the Lubansenshi parliamentary by-election as a “Billionaire’s Game” due to rampant vote buying and philanthropic politicians advanced to voters.

 

FODEP says the vote-buying in some instances was done at the request  of the electorate while in some cases at the instigation of the candidates and political parties.

 

The poll has been won by the ruling party – PF.

 

FODEP said this morning in its first reaction statement on the outcome of the by-election issued by Executive Director Mcdonald Chipenzi

 

Below is the statement:

 

Luwingu – FOUNDATION for Democratic Process (FODEP) wishes to congratulate the people and stakeholders in Lubansenshi for maintaining peace and orderliness during and after the election process of the just ended Lubansenshi parliamentary by-election.

 

Despite the challenges such as long distances to the polling stations and poor road network, the electorate in Lubansenshi braved all the odds and exercised their right to vote.

 

Zambia Police Force, political parties and churches must be commended for preaching peace and in making the electoral environment orderly and peaceful during and after the election.

 

This could have contributed to impressive turn-out which stood at about 50%.   However, FODEP noted that the Lubansenshi parliamentary by-election was a “Billionaire’s Game” due to rampant vote buying and philanthropic politicians advanced to voters, in some instances, at the request  of the electorate while in some cases at the instigation of the candidates and political parties.

 

This was even reflected on some campaign posters with inscriptions “Tantameni” i.e. “line-up” a system used by some candidates to exchange money with votes.

 

The Lubansenshi Parliamentary results could be a reflection of the party that poured in so much funds in buying votes.   Apart from the above fact, historically, Lubansenshi electorates do not vote a member of parliament for two times since 2001 and this has also been demonstrated in this election.

 

 

For instance, in 2001 the seat was held by MMD MP before being grabbed by PF in 2006 and an independent in 2011 and now back to PF in 2015.

 

Further, FODEP noted with concerns that prior to this by-election, statements bordered on electoral blackmail from government officials such as the president, vice-president and ministers were used to canvass for votes.

 

The public media coverage was skewed towards the ruling party especially that in Lubansenshi only ZNBC can be accessed by the citizens.

 

The presence of too many government officials and ministers in the campaign could have played a role in swaying electorates to vote in that pattern.

 

Regardless, FODEP congratulates the PF for scooping the Lubansenshi Parliamentary seat despite being hotly contested after scoring 4,879 followed by Independent at 2,463, UPND was third with 1, 895  with MMD and Rainbow getting 479 and 200 respectively. Only 92 ballots were rejected.

 

McDonald Chipenzi

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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