ActionAid Zambia has embarked on a project to track down promises made by the Patriotic Front during 2016 election campaigns in order to provide a platform for citizens to monitor, assess and evaluate the ruling party’s performance.

Announcing the intention at a consultative meeting held with the media at the ActionAid offices in Lusaka last week, project Programmes Officer Mwila Musonda disclosed that among the target promises were; those that “have not been fulfilled”, “broken”, “fulfilled”, “not yet started” and “compromised” or “initiated but abandoned”.

Musonda expressed confidence that the project would also foster interaction between ordinary citizens and elected leaders, enhance service delivery and increase accountability and transparency in the political and development process.

“ActionAid is working on a new project called Campaign Tracker, The overall goal of this project which has been funded by OSISA is to track and rate the performance of the Patriotic Front (PF) government under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu with regards to the campaign promises made to the Zambian people and to foster the growth of citizens participation in social and political processes. You may recall that during the 2016 elections, we had a lot of campaign promises. So this project is basically focusing on the ruling party to track and see how much they have been able to do in terms of implementing their campaign promises,” Musonda said.

“This project will be undertaken through monitoring of activities by government line ministries and the objective is not political but rather, about monitoring service delivery and also to provide recommendations and solutions to enhance service delivery. There is also a part of other political parties to be able to track the campaign promises because they also provide us with checks and balances in line with the campaign promises that were made during the 2016 general elections. We had to involve other political parties because they are governments in waiting and their job is to ensure that effective service delivery is ensured.”

And Musonda said the project would also enhance interaction between office bearers and ordinary citizens.

This project will ensure that we go back to the communities and find out how far the ruling party has gone in fulfilling the campaign promises made in 2016. So the community will be able to inform us to say, ‘this project has started and this one hasn’t, and then also this will create that interaction between duty bearers and beneficiaries. That way they will be able to interact and come up with concrete solutions to the promises which have not been fulfilled or the pledges the PF made whilst they were still campaigning to be in power,” said Musonda.

“So how the campaign tracker will be operating is by use of mobile phones, where members of the community would be required to capture and send us evidence of the projects they are monitoring, we will also have an SMS platform where they will send us messages through a code and we are trying to sensitise communities. I must mention that this project is not only going to be a Lusaka based project but it’s going to cover the whole population of Zambia so that we maybe able to hear from different people. Then we will also use social media platforms and town hall meetings, Radio activity programmes and then we have also created a website where people can submit their evidence.”