Thursday, 16 December 2010

MUFUMBWE JUDGMENT IS BIG LESSON FOR POLITICIANS – FODEP

By Globe reporter
The Mufumbwe by-election nullification is a positive lesson to all the electoral actors, says Foundation for Democratic Process (Fodep) information officer MacDonald Chipenzi.
Commenting on the High Court judgment that nullified the Mufumbwe bye-election, Chipenzi said High judge Phillip Musonda’s decision to nullify the Mufumbwe by-election should be seen as a positive lesson to all electoral stakeholders especially politicians, law enforcement agencies and Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
“The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) supports the judge’s straightforward reasoning that democracy is indeed about “competing of ideas and not hacking each other,” said Chipenzi. “Had politicians played a fair game in Mufumbwe, the country and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) would have been spared of their much-needed resources and the tedious job of organising a costly by-election. Imprudently, the by-elections would be held few months before the 2011 tripartite elections just because of the failure by politicians to uphold the electoral code of Conduct (ECC). It would not be surprising to witness high voter apathy during the coming by-election in the area since Mufumbwe residents have been subjected to repeated by-elections in the last five years and Residents could be developing voter fatigue in the coming by-election.”
 He urged all the key political players to adhere to the electoral code of conduct in order to address the unnecessary by-elections in the country.
He reminded the political players that the forthcoming Mufumbwe by-election would be double spending of taxpayers’ money.
“It could have been all avoided had all key players fulfilled their responsibilities as stipulated in the electoral code of conduct. Nonetheless, FODEP believes that the judgment has been passed in good faith given the circumstances that prevailed prior, during and post the by-election. In this instance, the judiciary has also effectively played its role in enforcing the electoral code of conduct,” Chipenzi said.
He called for the arrest and prosecution of all the persons who perpetuated the Mufumbwe violence.

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