Churches must not receive gifts from politicians during by-elections

THE church has been advised  to stop receiving donations from politicians during elections campaigns, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) on the Copperbelt has said.

FDD Copperbelt chairperson Yotam Mutayachalo said donations given to churches by politicians during elections were dangers to country’s democracy.

“I appeal to the three churches to find a lasting solution to some churches that have been receiving donations from political parties during elections campaigns,” Mr Mutayachalo said.

He said the Electoral Act should be amended to deter illicit practices such as donations to churches during election campaigns adding that some people have been elected to their positions not on merit.

Mr Mutayachalo said some candidates have been elected based on what they were or their party was able to give electorate stating that during UNIP regime, people elected on merit.

He said the Electoral Act should be strengthened so that it could provide for punitive action against people who are involved in electoral practices.

Mr Mutayachalo said with the current Electoral Act, people who did not give material gifts to electorate would not be able to participate effectively in the electoral system of this country.

“Some people will not be able to participate in the electoral process that is why we are saying that the matter of amending the Electoral Act is urgent. Some people politicians are giving donations to churches. They are sowing a dangerous seed because people are not elected on merit but on what they are able to give the voters,” he said.

Mr Mutayachalo said amending Electoral Act was the matter of urgency because electoral malpractices which happened in the just local government by elections on the Copperbelt painted a gloomy picture on Zambia’s democracy.

He said despite malpractices that happened during campaigns and its failure to win any local government by elections, the FDD would soon be force to reckon with.

“The outcome of the local by elections has vindicated us. In some cases we were able to beat MMD. In Chinondo, PF was beaten by the FDD,” Mr Mutayachalo said. “Although, we did not scoop any local government by election; we believe that our performance was impressive.”

Mr Mutayachalo said FDD formed its structure in Masaiti one month ago and it would continue to register its presence on the Copperbelt because it believes that the sky is limit in the province.