It is illegal to allow prisoners to vote – MacDonald Chipenzi

McDonald Chipenzi - FODEP

Electoral Expert MacDonald Chipenzi says the directive by Home Affairs Minister, Davies Mwila for prisoners or detainees with voters’ cards to participate in this year’s General Elections is illegal as it is against the provisions of the Electoral Process Act No. 35 of 2016.

Mr. Chipenzi says section 47 (c) states that quote, “a person shall not be entitled to vote at an election if that person, at the date of the election is in lawful custody or the person’s freedom of movement is restricted under any written law”.

He says unless this section has been deleted in the Act, the encouragement by the Minister for persons in lawful custody and whose freedom of movement has been restricted to vote in the coming elections is a source of electoral confusion, problems and ultimately illegal and challengeable.

Mr Chipenzi states that in as much as the law pronounces innocence to a detainee until proven guilty by the courts of law, leaders must learn to respect the laws they have created.

He says it is therefore erroneous for Mr Mwila who was quoted as having said that the law existed that allows prisoners and detainees to participate in this year’s general elections to make such a public electoral blunder.