THE Patriotic Front has already rigged the Lusaka mayoral election in favour of Miles Sampa as the government is doing everything possible to impose him on the people of Lusaka, observes Vincent Chaile. But PF media director Sunday Chanda says the images of chickens Chaile might be referring to were meant for the ruling party’s foot soldiers doing the campaigns, not for bribing voters.
Chaile, leader of the opposition Radical Revolutionary Party, said he has been witnessing episodes of vote buying by the ruling party in various parts of Lusaka.
He said the PF had taken advantage of the hunger situation in most parts of the city by distributing various foodstuffs in exchange for votes.
“PF have already rigged Lusaka mayoral election in favour of Miles Sampa. The PF government is doing everything possible to impose Miles Sampa on the people of Lusaka. Yesterday [Wednesday] PF was seen distributing chickens to the electorate, taking advantage of the hunger and poverty they have created as a government in power. This is a serious abuse of the Electoral Code of Conduct. The electoral Act is very clear on general offences: ‘21 (h) …offer any inducement, reward or bribe to any person in consideration of such person- (i) joining or not joining any political party; (ii) attending or not attending any political event; (iii) voting or not voting’,” Chaile said.
With what is obtaining on the ground, Chaile challenged the Electoral Commission of Zambia to disqualify Sampa from the mayoral race.
“If ECZ was truly independent, Miles Sampa would have been disqualified from the race for practicing politics of hunger and poverty. If PF is popular in Lusaka and confident of winning, then why are they bribing voters with food and money?” asked Chaile.
And Chanda said it was very sad that a young man like Chaile does not know about the existence of command posts during campaigns where foot soldiers converge before going to do their door-to-door campaigns.
“The foot soldiers operating from these command posts share meals before and after coming back from the field. That’s the purpose behind those images of chickens he is reacting to,” he explained.
“It’s sad that we have a crop of politicians which does not understand that foot soldiers would need to eat as they work. If our giving food to PF command posts bothers Chaile that much, we encourage him to start a backyard chicken run so that those he might wish to campaign for him do not go in the field on empty stomachs.