–Chitambo District Council Secretary, Titus Ngoma, has attributed the high voter apathy experienced in the district during the Presidential elections to long distances between polling stations.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS, Mr Goma, who is also the District Electoral Officer, said the polling stations in the district are far apart and people have to travel long distances in order to reach the polling stations.
“There has been absolute apathy in the district and it is really shocking. The main reason for this is the long distances to the various polling stations; they are just too far”, he said.
He advised that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to visit the district and establish the issue on the ground.
Mr Goma said it would be prudent for the ECZ to come and see for themselves how far the distances are, adding that despite the delimitation exercise that occurred last year, several areas have remained far apart as only four polling stations were added.
“As much as we appreciate the delimitation exercise last year that saw the addition of four new polling stations, some areas still remain far apart,” he added.
Mr Goma further said the ECZ and the government should consider including a clause in the Constitution that will allow elections to be held in a particular month as the rainy season in these elections has contributed greatly to the low voter turnout.
“This should be an eye-opener to government and the ECZ that a particular month should be added in the Constitution that is not in the rainy season and that way people will turn up and vote because the rainy season has contributed greatly to the voter apathy,” he said.
A majority of polling stations in the district have reflected high levels of voter apathy. A check at Mabonde Secondary School around 16:00 hrs showed that only 264 people had voted out of 1,396 voters registered at the polling station.
And a further check at Shadreck Mailo Primary School around 17:00 hrs reflected that only 92 people had voted out of the 588 voters registered at the polling station.