Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has registered its disappointment with the adoption process of parliamentary and council chairpersons by the Patriotic Front (PF) and United Party for National Development (UPND).
In a statement released to the media, TIZ Executive Director Maurice Nyambe said the organization has noted that the process in both the PF and the UPND has been marred with allegations of vote buying, nepotism, favoritism and other forms of corruption.
The fact that these allegations are being made from the inside by people that have been part and parcel of these adoption processes attests to their veracity and means that they must be taken with the seriousness they deserve. TIZ therefore calls upon law enforcement agencies such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to actively look into these allegations and prosecute anyone found guilty of any misconduct that borders on corruption,Mr. Nyambe.
He further highlighted the tendency by the highest decision making organs of political parties to ignore the decisions of lower-level organs where primary elections where conducted.
Democracy is essentially about giving effect to the will of the people, but when that will is ignored at different levels of political parties’ decision-making structures, it does not bode well for the integrity of the electoral process. We have noted in the same vein the unclear circumstances under which some aspiring candidates were adopted in both the PF and UPND, resulting in protests by party members on both sides,Mr. Nyambe.
The Executive Director said this process must adhere to the key tenets of good governance such as transparency, accountability, participation, and fairness, as they ultimately contribute to the enhancement of the country’s democracy.
Mr. Nyambe also expressed concern over candidates that wish to stand as independents affiliating themselves to political parties.
We [therefore] urge all such aspiring independent candidates to officially resign from their political parties before filing in their nominations. We wish to highlight and commend the decisions by Mr. Binwell Mpundu and Ms. Rashida Mulenga to do just that and we urge other aspiring independents to take a leaf and follow suit,he added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Nyambe said through their analysis of party manifestos, the Socialist Party’s anti-corruption strategies are underwhelming when considering the extent of corruption in the country.
It is not clear for example why on one hand, the manifesto talks about increasing the capacity of law enforcement agencies while on the other intending to set up another law enforcement unit that will deal with economic crimes. …Our advice to the Socialist Party is that they should consider a more encompassing and strategic approach to their proposed anti-corruption interventions,he said.
The Executive Director urged all political players to conduct themselves in a peaceful and respectful manner even as the campaigns gather pace over the next few weeks.