Denying opposition rally permits is electoral fraud

Professor Gibson Mwewa says an electoral process that is founded on fraud, manipulation and cheating is only good at producing leaders who become corruption masters and insecure. We agree.

“The ugly tentacles of fraud, deception and manipulation are spreading in many aspects of society. Electoral fraud entails the use of deception and manipulation in order for one candidate to win an election at the disadvantage of others. Electoral fraud is not just confined to the actual voting day through inflated or suppressed votes, no. It is beyond that. Electoral frauds start with the manipulation of electoral framework, which include the deliberate and manipulative doctoring of laws, policies, procedures and institutions that govern the conduct of elections. Merchants of electoral fraud work around the clock seizing opportunities at every given stage of the electoral process including manipulation of the census process, manipulation of the identity card and manipulation of the voter registration exercise. It is an industry with experts specialising in manipulating the voting process. An electoral process that is founded on fraud, manipulation and cheating is only good at producing leaders who become corruption masters and insecure. Electoral fraud can lead to tension in society and in some case has resulted in the stagnation of natural development,” says
Prof Mwewa.

It’s clear that Edgar Lungu and his minions are engaging in clandestine and illegal efforts to shape the 2021 election results.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that fraud takes on a panoply of forms; it ranges from procedural violations of electoral law – that may or may not intend to distort results – to the outright use of violence against voters. Even when ballot rigging is an integral part of electoral competition, it is infrequently decisive. Fraud, nevertheless, undermines political stability because, in close races, it can be crucial. Political competition shapes the rhythm and nature of electoral fraud. Efforts to steal elections increase with inequality, but competitiveness – which institutions help to shape —determines the ballot-rigging strategies parties adopt.

Voters’ perception of electoral fairness has an impact on their attitudes and behaviours.

High levels of electoral fraud are indeed linked to less satisfaction with democracy. Winning only matters in elections that are conducted in an impartial way. The moment elections start to display the telltale signs of manipulation and malpractice, winning and losing no longer have different effects on voter’s levels of satisfaction with democracy.

Abuse of the public order Act is electoral fraud because it denies the opposition the opportunity to mobilise support. It therefore helps to suppress opposition votes.

Edgar is desperately clinging to the public order Act like a tick. Since June no opposition political party has been allowed to hold a rally in any part Zambia. And police officers are saying the matter is beyond them. They are under political orders not to grant rally permits. In this way corrupt Patriotic Front leaders hope to remain in power for a long time and cover up their corruption.

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