KAPOCHE member of parliament Dr Charles Banda has advised stakeholders to ensure they pressurise Electoral Commission of Zambia whenever it appears dormant or inactive.
Speaking during a delimitation workshop at Chassa Boarding School on Saturday, Dr Banda observed that the problems people of Kapoche faced in 2011 when the last delimitation exercise took place were still prevalent.
“Don’t worry so much, they say the sound of lightening makes everyone touch the head because they fear it’s on them and they also say ‘an old animal made makubi (bird) spend the day hungry. This issue (of delimitation), we have today is an old animal because it did not start today. We started in 2011 but look, up to date there is nothing we have done…2011, the issue has not been sorted out. We are the bird and the old animal is ECZ, let’s try to always shake them, let’s try to awaken them if we feel they are dead or are dying, let’s shake them until they take us where we want to be…” he said.
Dr Banda said due to vast wards, people travel long distances to polling stations during elections but when politicians offer them transport, it becomes a case of malpractice.
“People suffer to reach polling stations due to long distances such that we are made to hire vehicles to transport people to polling stations but again you say it’s wrong as it is a form of malpractice and to solve this out, it’s to have polling stations near to where people are and the apathy we experience will be reduced,” he said.
Dr Banda complained that only two wards were proposed to be added to Sinda district, which had two constituencies.
“For you to create two wards in Sinda, it’s another regret as we are not solving any problem because for example, in Kapoche, we have Matambazi and Mwangaila wards which stretch from the Great East Road to Mozambique, about 35kms to which I expected that you are coming to tell us to delimitate all big wards but like this, we are not moving forward,” Dr Banda said.
He said that when Kapoche Constituency was delimitated in 2011 to form Kaumbwe Constituency, he clapped his hands in appreciation not knowing that it was in vain because the ECZ added to Kapoche wards that were under Sinda under chief Kathumba and chieftainess Kawaza, which did not solve anything.
He added that counsellors were insulted during meetings that they were not seen.
“This delimitation will be quite beneficial to us politicians because like counsellors are insulted, people sing against them during meetings that they are not seen just because their wards are quite big for them to visit them at once. If wards are delimitated then things might be okay,” said Dr Banda
And former Sinda member of parliament Levy Ngoma said at times politicians create problems of delimitation because during campaigns they extend to the areas not under their constituencies.
And in interview, Ngoma said delimitation was the key to effective representation in as far as counsellors and members of parliament were concerned.
“Delimitation is key to effective representation as without delimitation, geographical representation becomes difficult as far as counsellors and members of parliament are concerned in executing their duties…. We want a developed Sinda, we want to see better roads, we want to see better schools, we want to see better clinics, we want to see better services in as far as agriculture is concerned. We want to see people accessing clean and safe water. We want to have Sinda, which is violence free, insults free,” said Ngoma.
Meanwhile, PF district chairperson Michael Phiri said people walk long distances to go and vote.
In his opening remarks, district electoral officer Robby Chitambo said due to increase in population and distances to polling stations, the government, through ECZ, decided to carry out a delimitation exercise.