ZDDM wants judicial review over delayed by elections

The Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM) has demanded for judicial review over delays by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to announce dates for by-elections in constituencies where parliamentary seats have been nullified.

ZDDM vice president Charles Kafumbo said the party was concerned with the continued delays to hold by elections in constituencies where parliamentary seats were nullified by the Supreme Court.

He said the people of Zambia had the right of representation in the National Assembly but that there has been no attempt by ECZ to announce the dates for  by elections in over six months since the nullifications.

“As ZDDM, which is the National Federation Party, we are set to seek Judicial Review as to why the ECZ has chosen to keep Solwezi Central, Kabompo West and Mulobezi among several others without parliamentary representation for over six months now.

“This is an abrogation of the laws of Zambia denying the people’s rights to representation,” Mr Kafumbo said.

He explained that while in the case of death or elections’ nullification, the law provided for citizens to go for by  elections within 90 days so that there was renewed representation in parliament.

Some losing PF candidates petitioned their losses after the 2011 general elections and over 10 seats have since been nullified while others have already had by elections to usher in new MPs.

He said if there were issues to be settled over the seats, it was important that the commission addressed those matters with urgency as the people have lagged behind in representation and development without area MPs. Some of the affected constituencies where by elections were still pending include  Solwezi Central, Mulobezi, Vibwi, Malambo, Petauke Central, Kabombo and Mkaika. And Mr Kafumbo has called for the opposition political parties not to boycott this year’s May 25 Africa Freedom Day celebrations in order to take the opportunity to demand for the release of the draft constitution from President Sata.

Mr Kafumbo said since President Sata has completely rejected proposals for a national indaba with political parties; it would be an opportunity for the opposition to confront him at State House.

Mr Kafumbo has also called on government to direct more resources to the plight of street kids who seem to have been neglected over the last two years.

He said the growing number of what he called the ‘forgotten tribe’ (street kids) was an indication of government’s failure to deal with the problem of street kids in Zambia.