This habit of distributing relief food and other things during by-elections must stop. This is naked electoral corruption.
And it’s difficult to understand why this has been tolerated for such a long time.
There may be exceptional circumstances when a natural disaster happens just before or during the by-election campaigns that can justify the distribution of relief food and other things.
Why should the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit distribute relief food and building materials to the 200 families in Mwansabombwe, whose houses collapsed due to heavy rains last season, now during parliamentary by-election campaigns?
Why wasn’t this done before or after the by-election?
The Patriotic Front does this all the time when there are by-elections. They take advantage of the vulnerability of these people to corrupt them with relief food and other things. This is immoral in whichever way one looks at it.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia has a duty to ensure that the elections are free and fair. Elections in which vulnerable voters are bribed with relief food cannot be said to be free and fair.
There’s need to bring this matter to court so that judges pronounce themselves on this issue.
The Mwansabombwe parliamentary by-election will certainly not be free and fair. The distribution of relief food and other things has tilted the scale in favour of the Patriotic Front. The political play field is not level.