Mkushi North parliamentary aspirant Lawrence Mwelwa says money in politics and elections has kept away those trying to support sustainable democratic development across the world.
Dr Mwelwa said that there were many wise poor people who with their wisdom can deliver their cities from poverty, but poverty has kept them outside Parliament.
He said politics and democracy cost money.
Dr Mwelwa said that the nationwide debate that citizens expect to see in a parliamentary election campaign cannot take place without resources.
He said it takes money to sustain political parties that could unite groups of citizens around shared platforms that form the basis of the election contest.
Dr Mwelwa said the adoption process at party level was complicated and those who succeed and are elected to Parliament face further costs throughout their term of office.
He said some of these costs arise from their constituents’ general expectation that their member of parliament, as prominent figures in the community, should provide financial support to those they represent.
Dr Mwelwa said that local supporters might expect one-off or ongoing payments, in cash or in kind.
“Wealthy backers, on the other hand, may look for very significant returns on their investment in an MP – including favourable treatment, the award of lucrative contracts, political protection, and so on. In these circumstances, an MP may face unknown demands at any point after election day, as their backers call in what they regard as their debts. Without change in the costs of becoming an MP, it is difficult to see how this culture of corruption can be tackled,” he said.
He said those who plan to run again must spend a good deal of time while in office raising funds for their re-election campaign.