ACC should cage peddlers of electoral corruption-FODEP

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) should intensify its hunt for the perpetrators of electoral corruption during campaigns in the Mangango parliamentary by election, says Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director MacDonald Chipenzi.

Mr Chipenzi said the participation of district commissioners (DC) in the campaigns was a breach of the electoral law and regulations and that the police should have taken action against them.

He said the police should not only concentrate on pursuing the people suspected to have participated in causing violence but also help in finding a solution to the vice.

He said FODEP was hopeful that the presence of Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani in Mangango would not fuel the violence as happened in 2010 when the IG’s presence in Mufumbwe caused more violence in the area.

“The police should not only aim at pursuing the suspected committers of violence only but should also help in finding a lasting solution to the root causes of violence during elections.

“The police should at all times try to be fair enough in applying the law. The ACC should also intensify its hunt for the perpetuators of electoral corruption,” he said.

Mr Chipenzi said the continued involvement of DCs and other government officials in campaign trails of Patriotic Front (PF) and unfettered use of government resources and facilities by unauthoritized government officials could be instigators of electoral violence.

He said President Sata should instruct DCs to immediately withdraw from engaging themselves in partisan and active politics.

Mr Chipenzi said it was the prayer of FODEP that the Mangango by-election would be held in peaceful environment .

He said the people of Mangango should continue to be vigilant and report any suspected perpetrators of violence and electoral malpractices before and during elections to appropriate authorities for action.

“FODEP is a firm believer that elections are a process of actualizing representative and exposingh people to the experiences of competition for power through balloting and not battering each other,” Mr Chipenzi said.

He said pockets of violence that occurred in Mangango and Luampa could have been avoided if the top leadership of two political parties were sincere and had taken  practical steps put in place or curb electoral violence by promoting  harmony and co-existence.

Mr Chipenzi said FODEP was aware that violence and conflicts arose from pursuit of varying interests, goals and aspirations by individuals and others and that there was no justification to political cadres to employ force to intimidate their opponents.

He said FODEP would continue to keenly follow happenings in all areas where by-elections would be held and monitor them including holding of discussion forums.

And Southern Centre for Constructive Resolution of Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) executive director Bornface Cheembe has condemned violence which has characterized campaigns in Western Province and other parties of the country.

He said it is regrettable that whenever there were elections, the country has continued to record violence and that events in Mangango were perpetrated by  political cadres ferried from other places.

Mr Cheembe said ferrying of political cadres from other parts of the country to places where elections were being held should be stopped because it was a danger to democracy.

He appealed to political players and stakeholders to uphold electoral code of conduct and allow for an ideal environment to prevail for the polls to take place.