by Natasha Sakala on 25 Jun 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 25 Jun 2019by Diggers Correspondent on 25 Jun 2019by Diggers Correspondent on 25 Jun 2019
- Goal Diggers
by Abraham Kalito on 19 Jun 2019by Abraham Kalito on 17 Jun 2019by Abraham Kalito on 17 Jun 2019by Abraham Kalito on 10 Jun 2019
by Diggers Correspondent on 25 Jun 2019by Natasha Sakala on 25 Jun 2019by Diggers Correspondent on 24 Jun 2019by Sipilisiwe Ncube on 24 Jun 2019
by Zondiwe Mbewe on 24 Jun 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 24 Jun 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 22 Jun 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 21 Jun 2019
- Editor's Choice
by Diggers Correspondent on 24 May 2019by Diggers Reporter on 4 Mar 2019by Andyford Mayele Banda on 29 Jan 2019by Davies Mwila on 22 Jan 2019
by Diggers Editor on 23 Jun 2019by Diggers Editor on 21 Jun 2019by Diggers Editor on 20 Jun 2019by Diggers Editor on 19 Jun 2019
by Martha Mwanza and Felix Kashweka on 21 Jun 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 7 Jun 2019by Mukosha Funga on 30 May 2019by Sipilisiwe Ncube on 23 May 2019
- Guest Diggers
by Dr Chisoni Mumba, PhD on 22 Jun 2019by Chewe Chishala on 22 Jun 2019by Chibamba Kanyama on 11 Jun 2019by Chibamba Kanyama on 28 May 2019
Allowing prisoners to vote will bring confusion- FDDBy Mukosha Funga on 20 Aug 2017
Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) Spokesperson Antonio Mwanza says allowing prisoners to vote is not practical and the ruling party can use it as a platform for rigging.
In an interview with News Diggers! Mwanza said the judgment by the Constitutional Court would only bring problems to ECZ, the Prisons Authorities and the political players in the country.
“The decision by the Constitutional Court of Zambia to allow inmates to vote will pose serious administrative and political problems to the Electoral Commission of Zambia, the Prisons Authority as well as the political players. This judgment has raised more questions than answers and it’s clear that the Constitutional Court did not take time to do a true diligence before they arrived at their decision. First of all, does it mean that as political parties and independent political players those who are standing as independent are we going to be allowed to go into prisons and campaign? Because how else will the prisoners make an informed decision if us as politicians are not allowed to go into the prisons and campaign, distribute chitenge materials?” Mwanza wondered.
“Unless they tell us that with this judgment we will all be allowed to go into prisons and make campaigns to the prisoners otherwise, if we are not going to be allowed to go to the prisons and campaign then how will the prisoners reach at the informed decision to vote for a candidate of their choice? Secondly, how are the prisoners themselves going to vote? Are they going to be transported from wherever prisons they are detained to go and vote? Say for instance a prisoner is detained at Mwembeshi prison in Mwembeshi and he votes from Chavuma, does it mean that the prison authority will carry that prisoner and take him to Chavuma?”
Mwanza observed that allowing inmates to vote costly.
“Does the prison authority have enough man power to marshal the security that is required to carry these prisoners across the country? Do they have the resources to provide transport for all these prisoners to take them across the country or will ECZ start setting up polling stations at prisons because if they have to set up polling stations at prisons, then we need to deal with the legislation to turn the polling stations across the country so that then we can have polling stations at prisons. But how practical is that going to be? Because these prisoners will be voting from different polling stations. So it is practically impossible because the prison authorities don’t have the resources to transport the prisoners,” Mwanza said.
Mwanza also said he was skeptical about prisoners voting because it could be used as a platform by the ruling party to rig elections.
“How do we secure the process and ensure that it is not being manipulated or used for rigging purposes? So that is a serious challenge that we are going to face. And if we as political players are also not allowed to go into the prisons to go and campaign then what will be the basis under which these prisoners will be voting? We might have a situation where the vote from the prisons is actually being used for the rigging of the whole elections. So we are very skeptical and we challenge the Constitutional Court to explain to us how they intend to go about this voting to be done and the prisoners to vote in a practical manner,” he said.
Mwanza said the ECZ did not have the capacity to competently and transparently co-opt prisoners into the voting system.
“We are aware that every person has certain rights but we want to look at the practical side because lately, we have had issues with men and women in uniform because some are sent to places far away from their voting stations but they are supposed to vote. Last year it was a difficult process because we asked ECZ to give us list of all police and other officers who would be deployed in different places. We needed to know them so that we could guard against manipulation of voting and rigging of the vote using the army officers as well as the police who are on the pretext that they have been allowed to go and vote in polling stations where they don’t belong,” said Mwanza.
“So if they cannot deal with a simple list of officers that have just been deployed, how sure are we that ECZ will competently, effectively and transparently deal with the issue of prisoners? Mind you, they are thousands of them and they are supposed to vote from various places, unless they tell us that they will put up provisional polling stations but that is also very complicated and how secure will those polling stations be looking at the fact that these people are coming from various places where they are registered from. So it’s not a question of their rights but it’s a question of also ensuring people don’t take advantage of this provisional for the prisoners to rig the elections.”
About Mukosha Funga
Mukosha Funga is a Zambian journalist interested in good governance and anti corruption reporting.
- Let’s not allow criminal elements to destroy our peace-loving reputation – Lungu - 24 Jun 2019
- Those who think I don’t deserve honorary doctorate playing politics – Lungu - 22 Jun 2019
- Vedanta responds to Lungu: KCM not for sale - 21 Jun 2019
- DEC, ACC relies on FIC to prosecute money laundering, reveals regional body - 18 Jun 2019
- It’s cruel to show off corruptly obtained wealth – Musa - 18 Jun 2019
- Critics of Lungu’s PhD anger PF’s Paul Moonga
- I supervised works at Chimese’s building, ZAF officer tells court
- Lungu’s remarks on sale of KCM shows he doesn’t respect the courts – Kambwili
- Katuba by-election will be litmus test for violent-free 2021 polls – Mumbi
- Lungu should hold press conference, face tough questions – Mweetwa
Subscribe for email alerts
ArchivesJul0 PostsAug0 PostsSep0 PostsOct0 PostsNov0 PostsDec0 Posts
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
The News Diggers
Deputy News Editor
Plot No. Lus/9812/649-MC8
off Alex Chola Road
P.O. Box 32147
Telephone or WhatsApp:
diggers [at] diggers [dot] news
editor [at] diggers [dot] news
Send this to a friend