Tuesday, August 19, 2014
From our monitors in Mangango, Voting commence at 06:00 this morning. the overall situation: There are no signs intimidation or violence so far, voter turnout is avarage across polling stations. this Morning at 11:00 Chief Mwenemutondo of the Nkoya Speaking people cast his vote at Mutondo Primary School in Mangango constituency. This is an indication of the importance he has attached to the by-election and the democratic process of his country.Voter turnout in mangango is average as of 11:00 today 500 out 1832 voters had voted at Mangango primary school, 150 out of 682 voters had voted at Mutondo primary school in Mangango. We will keep you posted
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
PEACEFUL NOMINATIONS IN FIVE CONSTITUENCIES, ELATES FODEP Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) would like to express its happiness at the peace that characterized the nomination process in the five (5) constituencies where parliamentary by-elections are scheduled to take place on September 11, 2014. It is indeed gratifying to learn that the nomination process progressed without any negative electoral incident and that political parties conducted themselves in a mature and disciplined manner throughout the process. FODEP therefore commends all participating political parties for valuing peace, tolerance, and co-existence during the nomination process, a practice that should always be envied and pursued by all in the coming days when the electoral campaigns heat up. Now that official campaigns have commenced, it is FODEP’s hope and prayer that concerned stakeholders would operate within and respect the provisions of the Electoral Code of Conduct. Electorates would only have confidence in the electoral and political processes if competing political parties, candidates and supporters abhors and avoid violence, corruption and other electoral malpractices but embrace peace and love for each other. It now remains the role of all stakeholders, the media and the police inclusive, to ensure that the electoral environment continue to remain peaceful and accommodative to all competing parties to canvass support without hindrance. With eroding confidence levels among political parties towards the work of the police to curb electoral violence in the electoral process, FODEP would like to particularly urge the police to redeem themselves by carrying out their duties without partiality to enable a fair playing ground for all players in order to recoup public and stakeholders’ confidence. FODEP would also like to further remind all civil servants and ministers to desist from using government facilities, transportation and other resources for partisan activities as the act is against Part III Regulation 21(k) of the electoral Act No. 12 of 2006 and Electoral Code of Conduct. McDonald Chipenzi Executive Director
STATEMENT ON THE FORTHCOMING MANGANGO BY-ELECTIONS IN KAOMA DISTRICT IN WESTERN PROVINCE SLATED FOR 19TH AUGUST, 2014 ISSUED IN LUSAKA ON 10TH AUGUST 2014 AT FODEP HOUSE.
Dear Colleagues, Introduction We have decided to call this briefing to update you on the goings-on in Mangango ahead of the by-election in a week’s time scheduled for the 19th August 2014 especially with increasing reports of electoral and political violence being reported almost on daily basis as the day of the vote nears. On Friday, 8th August 2014 Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) officials travelled to Mangango for the following reasons 1) to ascertain reports of electoral and political violence being reported in the area and 2) hold a discussion forum dubbed “Race to Manda Hill Discussion Forum” which was held on Saturday, 9th August, 2014 with the aim of bringing together all aspiring candidates to face the electorates and make their plans for the area. FODEP is happy to report that in the two days that FODEP spent in Mangango and Kaoma areas respectively, it never witnessed any incident of violence. The people there were complaining of lack of development and the state of the main road to Mangango. The electoral environment was peaceful and tranquil as political parties went on with their business of canvassing for votes. Race to Manda Hill Discussion Forum: FODEP is glad to report that all the candidates, save for the United Party for National Development (UPND) candidate, Godwin Putu, featured at the Forum held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church grounds on Saturday, 9th August 2014. A number of issues were raised by the aspirants. Among the issues promised by the candidates to do if elected, were; improved and quality social services such as water, health and education. Others include working on the Katunda-Mangango-Lukulu road which is currently in bad state. At the end of the discussion which took almost three hours, the aspirants and their supporters pledged to promote and conduct peaceful and issue based campaigns ahead of the by-elections. The Forum which attracted hundreds of Mangango residents of all sheds, accorded the residents an opportunity to meet and ask questions to their prospective members of parliament which the aspirants ably responded to. FODEP Observations on the electoral campaigns However, the following were FODEP’s observations on the Mangango electoral campaigns: • Some participating political parties, candidates and supporters are engaged in smear campaigns of discrimination based on age and language; • Treating of voters through the provision of philanthropies such as meat and food is said to be common; • Presence of pockets of political party officials from others parts of the country such as Lusaka; • Allegations of involvement of District Commissioners in the campaigns despite them being civil servants Political violence However, reports of violence emerged from Luampa where suspected UPND and PF cadres crashed on suspicion that the latter was harboring alleged “thugs from Lusaka” who they accused of causing problems in the area ahead of the local government by-elections and that one of the sub-chief and District Commissioner in the area were allegedly campaigning for the ruling party. This resulted in the alleged beating of a sub-chief by suspected UPND cadres. Fortunately, Hon. Josephine Limata is said to have freed the area after sensing danger. On Sunday, the 10th August, 2014, FODEP received another report of violent campaigns right in Mangango which happened on Saturday 9th August, 2014 at night. The violence is said to have been ignited by suspected PF and UPND cadres over among other things allegation that PF was camped at a government House for their partisan activities leading to UPND cadres wanting to force them out of the premise and also on allegation that PF cadres wanted to block the UPND from holding a campaign rally on account that UPND candidate, Godwin Putu snubbed the public forum FODEP organized in the day that brought together all candidates. This attracted angry reactions from the UPND camp hence fighting ensued. All these incidents could be avoided if the top leadership of the two political parties could be sincere and practical steps are put in place to curbing electoral violence and in promoting electoral harmony and co-existence. PF and UPND Rivalry FODEP is at a loss to appreciate the political and electoral rivalry between the PF and the UPND which is growing by the day. Records of their violent crashes are coveted for anyone to see. The vivid ones include events in Livingstone and Mpongwe parliamentary by-elections and Rufunsa local government by-election. The recent ones being in Batoka, Luampa local government by-elections current under way. In this regard, FODEP wants to strongly condemn the recent violent confrontation between the UPND and the PF in Mangango and Luampa areas respectively and demands an immediate end to politics of confrontation in Zambia being practiced and perpetuated by the two rival political parties. This reminds the country of the rivalry that was there prior to the 2011 elections between the PF and the MMD. Zambians should seriously reflect on that this kind of politics never pays but rather discourages people from being part of the political governance process of their own country. The actions of the two political parties do not inspire confidence in the electoral process and has the greatest potential to scare away would be voters in Mangango and other areas where elections are taking place and essentially and especially where the two political parties will be competing. Further, though both political parties have condemned violence in their public statements, this has only remained as lip-service condemnation hence time for them they walked the talk. They should find amicable ways of settling their political differences rather than resorting to confrontations and violence every time there is an election. The Role of Police and other Law enforcement agencies FODEP hopes that the presence of Inspector General of Police Ms. Stella Libongani in Mangango will not fuel the situation as it happened in 2010 when the IG’s presence in Mufumbwe caused more violence in the area than peace. The police should not aim at pursuing the suspected committers of violence only but finding a lasting solution to the root-causes of such violence during elections too. The police should at all times try to be fair enough in applying the law. The Anticorruption Commission should also intensify its hunt for the perpetuators of electoral corruption and treating. District Commissioners in campaigns The suspected presence of DCs in the campaigns is a breach of the electoral laws and regulations and one expected the police to have swung in action by now but alas inertia has gripped the Zambia Police Force with reasons best known to themselves. The continued involvement of DCs and other government officials in campaign trails of the party in power and also the unfettered use of government resources and facilities by unauthorized government officials could be an instigator of electoral violence hence the need for the employers (President) to instruct the DCs to immediately withdraw from engaging in partisan and active politics. Part III of the electoral Code of Conduct regulation 21(K) the use of government and parastatal facilities, transportation and resources are only limited to the Republican President and Vice-President. Any person who contravenes this regulation commits an offence and is liable on conviction to fine not exceeding 5,000 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both. Conclusion FODEP will continue to keenly follow the happenings in all areas where by-elections are to be conducted and would try to place monitors including holding discussion forums, funds permitting. In Mangango, FODEP is already on the ground and receiving reports on a daily basis from its monitors. It is our prayer that Mangango by-election will be held in a peaceful electoral environment and that law enforcement agencies and the people of Mangango will continue to be vigilant and report any suspected perpetrators of violence and electoral malpractice before and during elections. Way Forward FODEP is a firm believer that elections are a process of actualizing representative democracy and expose people to the experiences of competition for power through balloting and not battering each other. Elections are means of peaceful and not violent change of leadership in societies be it at local government, parliamentary and presidential level. In as much as FODEP is aware that violence and conflict arise from pursuit of varying interests, goals and aspirations by individuals and or groups, there is no justification whatsoever, for any political party or its cadres in a multiparty democracy like Zambia to employ force to intimidate the opponents. This is undemocratic and an affront to free expression and credible electoral process. The earlier the two political parties provide effective leadership to their cadres and supporters on this thorny issue in the electoral process the better for Zambia and the electoral process in general but if nothing is done till 2016, then the 2016 general elections are threatened with heightened political confrontation and violence. It is in this regard that a new constitution is needed before 2016 general elections as it will be key to resolving some of these electoral and political malaises. This is so because the electoral body will be empowered to decisively deal with such delinquencies in the electoral process. Leverage
Friday, August 8, 2014
Participate in the Race to Manda Hill forum in Mangango this Saturday at 14:00 at Mangango Catholic Parish. #FODEPandHIVOS Let us listen to what contestants have to say as they sell their manifestos.....FODEP Executive Director Mr McDonald Chipenzi will be in Mangango for this important meeting
Monday, July 28, 2014
Foundation for Democratic Process FODEP House, Omelo Mumba Road, Press statement Foundation For Democratic Process Omemlo Mumba Road Rhodespark, P. O. Box 32387, Lusaka, Zambia Tel-fax: 236281/236275 E-mail: email@example.com 28/07/2014 FOUNDATION for Democratic Process (FODEP) is disturbed by reports of electoral and political violence and vote-buying ahead of the Mangango by-election scheduled for 19th August, 2014. FODEP is in receipt of unpleasant reports of political confrontation which erupted over the weekend at Pumulo Take Away at the Kaoma Boma-Mongu Road Junction in Kaoma yesterday. After consultations with FODEP monitors and other stakeholders in Kaoma, FODEP has established that some named senior government officials were at the center of the mayhem that happened at Pumulo Take-Away sparked by some named politicians for allegedly replacing GRZ vehicle number plates with private ones, an act which incensed other players. FODEP finds such acts blatant abuse of public resources and facilities and expected that the perpetrators could have been arrested by now by the relevant authorities such as the Zambia Police Force and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). The fact the perpetrators are still scot-free, demands that relevant law enforcers should take keen interest in arresting the situation before it is out of hand. In this vein, FODEP demands the immediate probing of politicians involved in replacing government number plates with private ones. FODEP is also in receipt of reports of vote-buying through the dishing of money to unsuspected electorates and civil servants involvement in the campaigns in Mangango such as District Commissioners. Such acts are sources of electoral provocation, misunderstanding and conflict and those involved should stop with immediate effect. FODEP continue to appeal to all stakeholders in Mangango to desist from engaging themselves in electoral malpractices and further remind all players that Mangango by-election was as a result of nullification due to electoral malpractices, which should be avoided at all cost. FODEP finds it unfortunate that after weeks of a tranquil electoral environment in Mangango, some irresponsible politicians, mostly non-Mangango residents, want to disturb the peace obtaining and create an atmosphere unconducive for the holding of a free and fair electoral process. In this regard, FODEP urges the police and other relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that peace is preserved in Mangango by applying the law fairly to all players rather than protecting individuals at the expense of public peace, tranquility and harmony. FODEP will continue to monitor and expose any inimical activities to a credible electoral process ahead of the Mangango by-elections and request all persons with information on electoral malpractices to report to FODEP officials in Mangango or indeed contact secretariat in Lusaka. Finally, in pursuant of accountability among elected leaders through the fulfillment of campaign promises, FODEP will be holding a “Race to Manda Hill Public Discussion Forum” in Mangango in the next two weeks aimed at bringing all aspiring candidates to a common platform to communicate their manifestoes and promises to the electorate. McDonald Chipenzi EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ______________________________________________________________________________
Thursday, July 17, 2014
FOUNDATION for Democratic Process (FODEP) is calling on all stakeholders in the electoral process to strongly advocate for the application and invoking of the provisions of the Electoral Code of Conduct of 2011 throughout the electoral cycle to take care of premature electoral campaigns in the country. This is so because of the prevalence of premature electoral campaigns conducted by prospective candidates across the country ahead of the 2016 tripartite elections where some aspiring candidates have already started pasting campaign posters and other electoral propaganda materials. For instance, aspiring candidates in Kabwata Constituency in Lusaka Urban District of Lusaka Province from various political parties are already in high gear conducting electoral campaigns even when there is no pending by-election in sight. FODEP expressing great concerns with the trend especially that the electoral Act No. 12 of 2006 and Code of 2011 only applies and allows the use of electoral propaganda and campaigns materials by aspiring candidates during an election campaign which under the Act and the Code is determined by the Commission. The pasting of campaign posters on electrical poles other buildings by prospective aspiring candidates in Kabwata Constituency when Commission has not determined election timetable for the campaigns is of great concern and should be censured by the relevant authorities. It is also a wake up call to both the ECZ and CSOs in the electoral process to explore the possibility of effecting the provisions of the electoral Code during the pre-nomination periods to arrest some of the irregularities and malpractices that prospective candidates may be involved in currently outside the jurisdictions of the provisions of Code and the Act. Applying and invoking the provisions of the Act and the Code throughout the electoral cycle will enable the Commission, Zambia Police Force, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and other relevant bodies censure erring aspiring candidates when breaches of the Code and the electoral Act are noticed, which has proved to be difficult at the moment.
FODEP secretariat today travels to three provinces, Chipata in Eastern Province, Ndola in Copperbelt Province and Choma in the southern Province. We are will be Holding training seminars for Political parties in the respective districts on Friday July 18th 2014. this is in line with the project Tracking Electoral Campaign promises in Zambia.A project Supported by HIVOS. We will be featuring on Local Radio Stations before, during and after the trainings...Make a date with us and contribute to the improvement of our democracy and governance system in Zambia.#FODEPandHivos