ZAMBIANS must reject politicians dishing out money because they will not deliver on their promises as they have made vote-buying a yardstick for being elected, says New Heritage Party president Chishala Kateka.

In an interview, Kateka cautioned that if politicians were not taught lessons on polling day, voters would have themselves to blame for sustaining the trend of politicians dishing out money.

“We have noted unprecedented levels of monies being distributed by those in the PF. Some of these are MPs whose faces we recognise from videos. New Heritage Party has consistently stated the fact that elections in Zambia are about money. This is a major as a motivating factor to becoming a politician, rather than service. Politics are a means of getting wealthy and so many are making it a career rather than a calling. You are able to see the outcome of this from the fact that relatively few MPs, regardless of party affiliation, make any meaningful difference in their constituencies. Some only go back to their constituencies closer to the date of the next elections. The vote-buying bar has been consistently raised with each succeeding election and more so as Zambians become even more poor. Vote-buying is rapidly taking the place in the constituency as a yardstick for being elected or re-elected,” Kateka lamented.

“Shame on the MPs and others flashing money like that to poor people! Of course, when money like that is flashed to a person that has not eaten, they will be mesmerized! You decide to give away your heritage for the sake of a K100, which will not even last a week!”

She counselled voters to be wary of politicians trying to entice their vote through petty cash gifts.

“We, as Zambians, are as much at fault as the people who are dishing out the money, because we are the ones allowing this evil to be perpetuated. However, Bible says, ‘woe unto him that causes one of these little ones to sin.’ The reason a person would dish out money the way it is being dished out is because they have not delivered in their constituencies or (if they are not MPs) they have a vested interest, have been benefiting heavily from the system and would like to continue ‘eating.’ The flashing of money or vote-buying should serve as a warning to the electorate: any person or party that does that cannot be trusted to deliver to the Zambian people,” advised Kateka.

“We must be mindful of the fact that, granted, the PF did open themselves to this attack, but what we note is that there is a lot of de-campaigning of each other by some parties and, therefore, cannot discount the fact that some of these videos may be ‘de-campaign videos’ by some of us in the opposition – that is politics for you.”