The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has observed with concern that, in as much as the general political environment in Msanzala is tranquil, the campaign methodologies being applied by some political parties in an effort to win votes from electorates ahead of the Msanzala By-election in Petauke District of Eastern Province seem inappropriate for the time.
Some political parties have been dangling ministerial posts and other developmental projects as bait to win electorate’s votes in Msanzala.
At the same time, major government policy pronouncements are being promulgated by senior government leaders during these campaigns. Examples of major government policy pronouncements include: announcement of the creation of Sinda district; directives to electrify the entire Petauke District; directives to refurbish chiefs’ palaces in the area; directives to reduce markets levies at campaign rallies etc.
In as much as these are positive government policy pronouncements and good for the people and the development of Petauke and Msanzala in particular if implemented, the timing and the platform on which these issues are being communicated to the residents of Petauke and Msanzala may not be appropriate and have the potential to continue posing a threat to the credibility of Zambia’s electoral process.
FODEP is still convinced that with the new Government in power especially with a background of being in opposition for years, certain electoral issues that undermine fair play in the electoral process should be addressed.
Finally, FODEP will monitor the Msanzala by-election and will by tomorrow, 15th February, 2012 dispatch a team of national, provincial, district and constituency officials to reinforce the local members in overseeing the deployment of monitors in selected polling stations and monitoring of the entire voting process.
Our appeal to the people of Msanzala is to turn en masse and vote for the candidate of their choice without fear. To political parties and other electoral stakeholders, it is important to remain focused and disciplined and ensure that the electoral code of conduct is respected.
Chairperson for information, Publicity & Research