FODEP concerned with PF distributing mealie meal in Zambezi west

The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has expressed concern at government’s activities in constituencies with pending by-elections.

FODEP Executive Director MacDonald Chipenzi in a statement to QFM News says such activities are likely to be misconstrued to be apparent electoral campaign activities.

Mr. Chipenzi says the release of 2,000 x 50kg bags of relief maize to Zambezi West constituency is an apparent act of electoral campaign on the part of government on behalf of the ruling party.

He says this is so because it is happening barely a week after the Electoral Commission of Zambia announced the holding of by-elections in five constituencies Zambezi West inclusive.

Mr Chipenzi says FODEP is in receipt of disturbing reports from its monitors on the ground in Zambezi District in North-Western Province that government has released relief maize for distribution in an area where a by-election is pending.

He states that the 2,000x50kg bags of relief maize to be distributed to Zambezi West constituency ahead of the parliamentary by-election on 11th September, 2014, are purportedly from the Zambezi Food Reserve Agency (FRA) depot.

He adds that reports reaching FODEP are that the relief maize would be distributed through the Nazarene Compassionate Ministries as a lead NGO located within Zambezi District.

Mr. Chipenzi says FODEP advises all stakeholders to be wary of electoral malpractices and corruption which may come in various ways to avoid electoral petitions especially in periods when the Electoral Code of Conduct is not applicable.

He has further advised government that though the distribution of relief food to concerned communities is important and a government duty, it should be mindful of the circumstances prevailing at the time of embarking on such exercises to avoid speculations from stakeholders.

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