MPs are abandoning their constituencies once elected into office

Voting in sparsely populated Zambezi-West parliamentary by-election started on schedule at 06:00 hours and at Mapashi polling station 45 people had cast their votes by 06:39 hours.


The Electoral Commission of Zambia -ECZ- says a recent voter education exercise has revealed that electorates are concerned that Members of Parliament are not visiting their constituencies once elected into office.


ECZ Director Priscilla Isaac says electorates are also worried with increased political violence during elections.

Ms. Isaac also says the ECZ is concerned with voter apathy but added that the low voter turnout is not an issue of electorates not being aware of the elections but because they feel there is no benefit in voting.

She was speaking on Tuesday night during the Economics Association of Zambia -EAZ- Public Discussion on the “Impact of Voter Knowledge”

Ms. Isaac says by elections in the country have not been recording the 40 percent turnout pointing out that one by election recorded a 15 percent voter turnout which she says is an issue of concern.

And FODEP Executive Director Mcdonald Chipenzi says electorates in the country have had challenges in holding politicians accountable because of a weak legal system.

He says this has brought about the debate on introducing a “recall vote” when an MP fails to perform while serving even before his term ends.

And PF Secretary General Davies Chama observed that politicians in the country have not done much to inspire electorates to vote.

Mr. Chama says electorates will start voting when politicians instill some confidence in them.

But opposition UPND Bwengwa MP Highvie Hamududu said electorates should understand that it is not the role of MPs to develop constituencies but the executive.

Mr Hamududu said MPs are only the voice of electorates.