The Mapatizya formula

On 4th May 2005, The UPND held a press briefing to announce the name of their adopted candidate for the upcoming by-elections on June 9th 2005 for Kalulushi on the Copperbelt and Mapatizya in Kalomo, Southern Province.
The UPND announced that they had adopted Ackson Sejani as candidate for Mapatizya. Sejani was a former Minister of Local Government in Frederick Chiluba’s government.
At this Conference, Sejani announced that he had declared what he termed as a ‘’Jihad Political War’’. He alleged that the war was directed against the MMD’s “electoral corruption and rigging”.
During the subsequent political campaigns, Sejani’s campaign team organized a ‘militia’ that attacked government vehicles, impounded food supply convoys, held meetings without permits and harassed government ministers and caused wanton mayhem against the MMD Camp.
Southern Province Minister, Alice Simango was forced to transfer certain police officers accusing them of failing to prevent attacks against government ministers, citizens and MMD members from the UPND hooligans.
The PF also joined in the violence in Kalulushi and PF leader Michael Sata sent cadres to disrupt an MMD Rally in Chambeshi, which resulted into violent clashes.
Sejani proceeded to win this election and walked to Parliament leaving in his wake, a trail of victims of the bloody violence and destruction of government property.
This model is now popularly known as the “Mapatizya Formulae” in the UPND. It involves the disregard of the law and the taking of the law unto own hands.
The formulae also promotes anarchy to ‘’correct and prevent rigging.’’ It also encourages cadres to resort to violent methods every time they suspect electoral malpractice and unfair campaign methods. It also encourages officials to disregard the authority of the Police, or ECZ officials who are deemed to be part of the ‘’rigging infrastructure’’.
On 16th June 2005, Civil Society Groupings led by FODEP President then Sam Mulafulafu condemned the elections as not being free and fair owing to the high level of intimidation, violence and corruption.
He stated that the elections defied, violated and breached Regulation 51, and Section 18 of the Electoral Act, Cap 13 of the Laws of Zambia. He also feared that the level of violence would impact negatively the upcoming 2006 General Elections.
THE MILANZI AND MUFUMBWE BY-ELECTIONS
Clearly the scenario of the Mapatizya and Kalulushi by-elections replayed itself in the Milanzi and Mufumbwe by-elections.
When Hakainde Hichilema took over the UPND from the late Anderson Kambela Mazoka, he attempted to bring clean and issue based politics. He also tried to shed off the tribal tag that his party wore for many years.
However the electoral losses he suffered in the 2006 and 2008 contests seemed to have deeply impacted on him so profoundly that he has abandoned the very principles that made him attract admiration and freshness.
Hichilema has shown the worst of himself. He now calls himself a ‘’villager’’ and displaying crude conduct and his speeches are characterized by threats of violence, insults and foul language.
It is therefore not surprising that to win the Mufumbwe seat, he had to resort to a discredited template – the Mapatizya Formulae.
Since entering into an electoral alliance and joining forces with the Patriotic Front (PF), Hichilema seemed to have copied the worst traits of and from Sata.
Hichilema’s language is more foul, his insults are more crude, his conduct more thuggish and his ambitions for leadership more diseased, and he has passionately embraced whole heartedly, Sata’s worst traits that attract his supporters but repels many important stakeholders.
This new monster in the 2010 HH, are a concern to many that thought the electoral Pact entered into between the UPND and the PF would succeed and provide credible leadership as HH was deemed to be the moderate and educated one who would balance out Sata’s eccentrics and his tendencies for violence, crude language, and his lack of education.
Donors hoped that the properly structured UPND and its well enunciated leadership and policies would complement the haphazard, personalised and informal outfit of the PF to form an acceptable platform that can dislodge the MMD from power and be a counterforce against its leader Rupiah Banda.
However the radical transformation that HH has undertaken is frightening many stakeholders as where there was one political monster, there are two, where the was isolated non-issue based debates, they are multiplied and where Sata attacked his political opponents, there are a barrage and torrid of insults sprayed against a wide array of political opponents by HH.
HH has also abandoned moderate and rational officials preferring the counsel of radical and like minds like Dr. Chobe Beyani, UPND Director of Research and International Relations.
Many wondered what had brought the two leaders, Sata and Hichilema as they appeared to be opposites in policies and conduct. But the new HH has helped cement the Pact with this common ground. A common ground of insults and violence.
THE MUFUMBWE VIOLENCE
It is therefore not surprising that Hichilema and his National Management Committee decided to adopt the so called Mapatizya Formulae as the method of winning the Mufumbwe By-election.
The Mufumbwe by-election was very important to the UPND to prove their own analysis that claim that voters are likely to revert to the 2001 voting patterns with UPND regaining its 2001 strength. They think that the UPND has regained the so called ‘’Mazoka’s Provinces’’ and to prepare for the possible split with the PF, UPND has to seen to have capacity to win the forthcoming 2011 General Electionsbe alone.
Therefore to give credence this flawed analysis, it was important that Mufumbwe was won- at all cost.
In this election, Hichilema copied the campaign tactics of Sata and chose to camp in Mufumbwe during the entire campaign period.
The UPND transported known violent cadres from Lusaka and the Copperbelt and formed ‘’crack squads’’ to ‘’match the William Banda Militia’’.
When the campaigns were underway, the MMD campaign teams were joined by cadres from Lusaka and the Copperbelt. Due to the critical shortage of accommodation, the MMD cadres found themselves boarding and lodging at a School.
In line with the Mapatizya Formulae, the UPND camp, when learning of this scenario, decided to ransack and attack the MMD camp claiming that the their presence at the school violated electoral laws as the school would be a polling station on election day.
The UPND cadres chose a period when most cadres had accompanied their leaders to political campaigns, attacked the camp, stole cadres food supplies, blankets and beer.
Upon return, the MMD cadres found their colleagues beaten and their supplies stolen. They were riled. They planned and later staged a retaliatory attack that saw Member of Parliament and UPND Vice-President Richard Kapita injured in the ensuing clashes.
The press reports especially from the private media were skewed shifting the blame to the MMD and the Police.
The UPND leadership led by Hichilema himself played innocent victim and stormed the police station demanding Justice.
From then on, the violence escalated between the two camps turning a peaceful quiet and serene rural district of Mufumbwe into a place of violence, running battles and all sorts of mayhem.
The violence culminated into a violent abduction and brutal beating of a police constable Elijah Chiluba on polling day, who was abducted by a group led by UPND Solwezi MP, Watson Lumba. The officer who is accused of being a former MMD cadre was treated the Mapatizya Formulae guidelines that are ‘’intended to protect the will of the people and prevent electoral malpractice.’’
THE MUFUMBWE RESULTS AND WHY THE DISPUTE
Following the death of Deputy Minister Nasim Hamir, a new by-election poll was called for the Chitambo seat in Serenje for 9th August 2009.
The MMD picked Solomon Musonda while the PF/UPND picked Mutale Chanda as its candidates.
During the heated campaigns that followed with Sata claiming that he would beat the MMD, Vice-President George Kunda made a startling allegation few days before the poll.
Kunda alleged that polling officials, who are mostly teachers were attempting to manipulate the poll in favour of the PF.
This allegation surprised many as allegations of rigging have always come from the Opposition. Many wondered how the Opposition could rig an election. The allegation by Kunda was therefore dismissed with contempt with his opponents describing the MMD as a desperate party, in their view, about to lose the election and creating excuses for their impending loss.
The condemnation also came from union leaders who demanded an apology from Kunda as they found his allegations against professional colleagues of fraud and vote tampering totally unfounded and unfair.
But Kunda’s alarm bells seemed to have worked as fraud was prevented and the MMD proceeded to retain the seat with Solomon Musonda beating the PF candidate with 3149 votes against 1803 votes.
Therefore the allegation by the MMD that Mufumbwe seat was stolen from them by the UPND might appear incredulous and is likely to receive similar skepticism as Kunda’s allegations in the Chitambo election.
THE ECZ AND ALLEGATIONS OF ELECTION RIGGING
The Opposition have always raised allegations of tampering of results accusing the MMD of colluding with the ECZ to ‘‘rig’’ elections.
ECZ does not have enough staff to conduct successful elections. The body therefore depends on temporal staff it employs to conduct elections.
Teachers, who have usually conducted polls on behalf as the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), have been found suitable as they are sufficiently educated and are government employees that can be relied upon to carry-out such exercise since they are sworn and bound by similar oaths of secrecy in their jobs.
Teachers have been part of the election process since 1991. Recent attempts and proposals by the ECZ to employ outsiders to conduct national elections was met with stiff resistance by stakeholders as everyone trusted and proffered the judgment of teachers and feared that employing unknown outsiders such school leavers to conduct an election ‘’could be manipulated by the Intelligence’’. Teachers are found across the country and even in the remotest parts of the country. Their credentials are verifiable and are of known abodes.
TEACHERS RIGGING ELECTIONS.
Many acknowledge that the MMD has suffered so many defections and break-aways that some senior members who participated in certain activities, such as Sejani (former MMD Chairman for Elections), ‘’take’’ the secrets to the Opposition and either, help prevent voter manipulation, tampering and fraud or use the infrastructure to ‘’rig’’ the elections for themselves or their candidates.
It is for this reason that the allegation by MMD Campaign manager in Mufumbwe, by-election, Daniel Kalenga that the UPND connived and engaged polling agents to manipulate the election is not misplaced and should be taken seriously.
Kalenga states that the MMD clearly won the election and have verifiable and collaborative evidence that certain teachers who were polling agents manipulated results against the party.
National Secretary, Dr. Katele Kalumba has also announced that the MMD has overwhelming evidence that the UPND were engaged in electoral malpractice through selected agents the party seemed to have infiltrated! He has since announced that the MMD will petition the results.
Kalenga gave the example of Kampushi Polling Station where MMD scored 212 but during the tallying of votes, electoral officials reflected only 112 votes. He accuses the officials of deliberately under-counting by over 100 votes. He also gave another example of Kabipupu polling station which has only 56 registered voters but recorded a voter turnout of over 200!
Kalenga also complained that ballot boxes were brought in without mandatory seals. He also complained that the fraudulent result manipulation was widespread and appeared to have been replicated in other stations.
The MMD have also not escaped any blame. The UPND have accused the MMD of vote-buying and bribery alleging that the MMD was paying up to K200, 000.00 to individual potential voters.
Now, the allegation against the MMD is the known and constant allegations in elections. But the UPND is accused of not bribery, but the systematic fraudulent manipulation of results. The party is accused of participating in institutional rigging of the election!
Many fear that the allegations against the UPND might backfire against the MMD whose moral authority will be taken away since it has always parried allegations of rigging as fantasy.
CONCLUSION
Whatever the case, the Mufumbwe by-election has revealed dark activities in elections. Elections are managed by the ECZ and it should be responsible for this mess. How can outsiders infiltrate the conduct of elections in this manner? The integrity of the ECZ and its officials is at stake.
The insistence by many that the Mufumbwe seat should not be petitioned since it will be a can of worms and might reveal the very electoral tricks used in elections in the past, is nonsense.
It is imperative that our elections are conducted in a free and fair manner. We also need to expunge from the process fraud and malpractices as the so called tricks can be used against any candidates and subvert the will of the people-which is the highest crime as clearly demonstrated in the Mufumbwe.
The violence as adopted by the UPND in their policy of the Mapatizya Formulae is a danger to national security. The UPND should be made to abandon and own up this criminal method of electioneering as it could be is a recipe for break-down of peace and order in the 2011 Elections.
The ECZ through its spokesperson, Cris Akufuna, have condemned the violence and promised to take unknown punitive actions against the erring party.
The Police have since arrested UPND MP, Watson Lumba charging with offences of abduction and assaulting a police officer.
Hichilema as a national leader has a bound responsibility to promote peace and not chaos, to exercise restraint and not promote anarchy. It is criminal for him to seek recourse using violent means. The adoption of the Mapatizya formulae to counter legitimate claims of electoral malpractices reflects him as desperate and keen to go to criminal extents to wrestle power from the MMD.

Share this post