Bangweulu records low voter turn out, stirs anxieties

poll - ballot - Electoral Commission of Zambia
poll - ballot - Electoral Commission of Zambia

Voting in Bangweulu constituency has replicated the recent trend of apathy in elections as constituents cast their ballots in the by-election.

And a consortium of Non Governmental Organizations has launched an anti voter apathy drive ahead of the 2016 general elections.
The Bangweulu seat fell vacant following the death of incumbent Chifita Matafwali with seven candidates lining up for election.
By midday the turnout had been less than half across polling stations with a dim possibility the trend could improve later in the day.
The participants are from the PF, FDD, UPND, NAREP, CDP and two independent candidates with results not expected until later in the evening.

Bangweulu has 51 polling stations with 41, 000 registered voters.
Meanwhile, four Non Governmental Organizations have launched a campaign dubbed “My Vote My Voice” that seeks to address the voter apathy problem.
The member organizations are the Zambia National Women’s Lobby Group, Operation Young Vote, Anti Voter Apathy Project and Young Women in Action.

According to the organizers, the programme will be officially launched next month and spread to the 10 provinces of the country.
Voter apathy has been a lingering problem with less 50% of elected voters turning up to exercise that duty in recent elections.