By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Transparency International Zambia (TI-Z) says their finding shows that 44 cases of violence, bribery and abusive language linked to the major political parties.
TI-Z executive director Maurice Nyambe says during the months of May and June 2021, they monitored a total of 85 electoral events across the country in general, but specifically in the 6 provinces.
“According to the analysis, Copperbelt and North-Western provinces has accounted for the majority of these events, with 34 and 19 events respectively, these were followed by Luapula province with 12 events, Southern province with 9, and Lusaka province with 8, the analysis also showed that with 3 events, Eastern Province recorded the least number of electoral events for the months of May and June 2021,” he said.
Mr Nyambe said that the relatively low number of electoral events across the 6 provinces was largely a result of the restrictions that the ECZ has placed on political parties’ campaign activities.
He said that the complete suspension of campaigns by political parties in June during the 21 days’ period of national mourning that was declared in honor of the late first Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda also caused the slow.
“Out of the 85 electoral events monitored in May and June, 44 electoral incidents of abusive language, violence and bribery were recorded, representing a 51.8% incidence rate for those types of anomalies across the 6 provinces.”
“Of the 44 incidents of abusive language, violence and bribery that were recorded, Lusaka province had the highest incidence rate at 75%, followed by Luapula province with 58.3% and Copperbelt province with 55.9%, Southern and North-Western provinces had incidence rates of 44.4% and 36.8% respectively, with Eastern province having the lowest incidence rate of the 6 provinces, at 33.3%,” he said.
Mr Nyambe adds that in terms of categorization, most of the incidences were classified as bribery and accounted for 18 cases or 40.9% of all incidences.
He says these were followed by 16 incidences of abusive language, accounting for 36.3% of all incidences. Of the 16 cases of abusive language, 3 had elements of violence. Cases of violence alone accounted for 9 incidences or 20.4% of all incidences recorded in May and June.
“In order to further delve into the details of the 44 incidents of abusive language, violence and bribery, we analyzed the distribution of these incidences by political party, and that analysis revealed that the vast majority of these incidences were linked to the Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND),” he said.
Mr Nyambe has since urged the ECZ and law enforcement agencies to be more vigilant in ensuring that stakeholders in the electoral process do not abuse the process by failing to adhere to the legal provisions governing the process.
Mr Nyambe says the ECZ should have not covered themselves in glory in that regard and TI-Z has challenge them to pull up their socks in the two weeks remaining before polling day.