Tuesday, January 20, 2015
FOUNDATION FOR DEMOCRATIC PROCESS MID-DAY UPDATE STATEMENT ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS PRESS STATEMENT 13:00hrs, 20 January 2015 For Immediate Release: The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) wishes to commend the voters for turning up in large numbers to exercise their democratic right by taking part in the elections. In nearly all polling stations covered, FODEP monitors were allowed access to the polling stations. However, in some areas, such as Kabwata constituency in Lusaka, FODEP monitors were refused access by ECZ officials who demanded for authorization letters despite having accreditation cards. Since opening time, our monitors have reported that the elections have proceeded smoothly without disruptive incidents, thus far. FODEP wishes to commend all electoral stakeholders – Political Parties and their members, the Police, and the electorate - for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner and allowing for a peaceful voting, thus far. FODEP monitors from across the country report that most of the polling stations covered had opened in good time with fairly long queues in the early mornings. However, some polling stations are reported to have opened late to very late, with others opening as late as 10:20hrs for various reasons ranging from late delivery of Ballot Papers and other materials by the ECZ due to rainy weather and electoral staff: • In Katuba and Keembe constituencies of Chibompo district, about 7 polling stations received their election materials at 10:20 due to bad weather in the morning. Also affected were Icumvwe and Musungashi polling districts. • Lumbuka polling station in Petauke district was as at 08:36hrs not opened as the Presiding Officer was reportedly not present at the polling station. FODEP is concerned with some reported incidents that border on the violation of the smooth conduct of the elections as reported from the Monitors: • Some overzealous political sympathizers are reported to have been going round urging or canvasing for votes even beyond the campaign period ended yesterday at 18:00hrs. For instance in Kapiri-mposhi district around 07:56 hours today, it is alleged that an unregistered green vehicle (Mitsubishi Pajero) branded in PF regalia was seen making rounds between the Fire Brigade and Kawama residential areas campaigning. • In Lusaka’s Kaunda Square Basic School, a UPND political agent was seen campaigning as he was flashing the party symbol, and yet the campian period was closed at 18:00hrs yesterday (19 January 2015) • FODEP is concerned that a considerable number of voters are being turned away from voting due to errors committed by ECZ on the voters’ register. In many polling stations, such as Ibolelo Polling Station in Serenje, many voters were turned away on grounds that their names were not appearing on the voters’ register despite producing the electorate producing valid voters cards. • We are equally concerned on the alleged acts of intimidation on the electoral staff by some senior party members. At Woodlands B Polling Station, Hon Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Prof Nkandu Luo, is reported to have threatened some electoral staff with dismissal for allegedly working with the opposition. We wish to urge party officials to desist from such intimidation and leave the electoral staff to professionally carry out their work FODEP would like to urge the Electoral Commission of Zambia to investigate reality of these claims and ensure enforcement of the electoral laws and code of conduct. FODEP monitors report that the recently announced shifting of locations for Polling stations in some parts of the country have brought about some inconvenience and confusion in some electorate, and could affect the turnout of voters: • In Mwinilunga district, Northwestern province, the electorate are reported to have shunned casting their vote due to the relocation of the polling station from FTC to Kanyikombwe primary school; • In Ndola, the shifting of the polling station for Chibesakunda polling district from Lubuto High school to Lubuto Community School, which is already too congested by a number of streams, is reported to have cause considerable inconvenience to the voters. We therefore would like to urge the Electoral Commission of Zambia to continue announcing information relating to changes of polling stations for all areas where the polling stations have been shifted to reduce any further confusion among the electorate in affected areas. We wish to encourage all voters who may not have cast their votes at this time to go and cast their votes before the close of polls at 18:00hrs. FODEP monitors are on the ground to continue monitoring and will share its comprehensive assessment of the electoral process after taking into account the remaining part of the voting process, counting and tabulation of election results. Issued by ___________________ Sheperd Chilombe, FODEP President 0977465924/0977874198 Lusaka, 20 January 2015
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
ALLIANCE FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE (AGG) STATEMENT AHEAD OF 20th JANUARY 2015 ISSUED AT FODEP HOUSE ON 3RD DECEMBER, 2014
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, The Alliance for Good Governance has been observing the political and economic developments in the country before, during and after the death of President Michael Chilufya Sata. Some of the events that have occurred since have not been inspirational. The Alliance feels strongly that politics is too important and precious to be left only in politicians and has become ever more aware that the life of our nation is not a responsibility of a group of people or leaders alone but the common social responsibility of all the citizens. Good governance is about elected leaders being accountable and responsive to the needs of the people and about people ready to hold their leaders accountable. AGG has observed the bizarre tendencies of corruption, culture of lies, dishonesty as well as tribal and political violence which seem to be getting deep-rooted in the Zambian society and we feel that no external law will easily uproot them EXCEPT we ourselves change our attitude and behavior. Therefore, we don't expect citizens to continue tolerating such tendencies among politicians. Time to hold them against their promises is now. From the onset, the Alliance is concerned with increased levels of intra-party intolerance and confusions which potentially pose a great threat to the growth of party and national democracy. In this regard, we call on PF and MMD leadership to resolve their internal leadership wrangles immediately to instill political and electoral confidence in the public. What is happening in these parties can be best described as total political anarchy. In this vein, AGG is proud to hold this briefing to add its voice on a number of issues that have rocked the country. We note that over the months, political squabbles have become the order of the day and are potentially threatening the very fabric of our political and democratic system. The happenings in MMD and PF are not inspirational and require immediate solution to preserve the unity and the peace in these two major political parties in particular and the nation at large. They cannot continue fighting when they are supposed to be governing or indeed provide checks and balances in the governance process of the country. For the PF, they have not handled their affairs properly before, during and after the death of President Sata. The party has not exhibited any maturity and good leadership traits hence the continued infighting which is affecting the management of national affairs. We hoped the convention would unite and refocus the party on serving Zambians ahead of presidential election to our surprise, what has come out is a widen political rift between the contending parties. As a party in power, their continued wrangling has had serious spillover effects as evidenced by government's failure to resolve the payment of farmers' dues despite the rainy season commencing. The money to the farmers being held by the government was supposed to be used to buy farming inputs and other farm essentials. This non-payment of the farmers will greatly affect next year's harvest and consequently household food security of many. With this in mind, AGG wants to ask all presidential candidates to address the following governance issues 1. The Constitution Reform Process: AGG expects the new government to quickly enact a new people driven constitution. We are gratified that some presidential candidates have already pledged their commitment to the enactment of the constitution through the signing of the Presidential Candidate's Pledge developed by the Grand Coalition on the Campaign for People Driven Constitution in Zambia. We expect that more candidates will follow suit and make this public commitment than just offering lip service to the process. The new constitution therefore will require a new mentality and new social attitude towards the common good; 2. Legal Reforms a. Review or do away with the NGO Act No. 16 of 2009: AGG expects the new government or administration to do away with the NGO Act which has brought great anguish among civil society. Many civil societies are comfortable with their current status in terms of regulation and it would be an infringement on their freedom of association to force them register under the law which they have rejected. b. Public Order Act and Penal Code: AGG is greatly concerned the way these pieces of legislation have been applied by the law enforcement agencies in Zambia. The new government should desire to review the laws so that they become in line with the democratic tenets. It will be unfortunate for the incoming government to entertain and embrace such draconian and colonial laws on our statutes books. c. Access to Information Law: The new government should immediately enact the access to information law to promote anti-corruption crusade and ensure a transparent and accountable governance system in Zambia. 3. Retirement Age and wage and employment free: AGG expects the new government to reverse the statutory instrument that gave birth to the change of retirement age from 55 to 65 years especially taking into account the life expectancy in Zambia and high unemployment levels among the young people and also lift the unilaterally imposed wage and employment freeze. 4. Tradition leadership: AGG is desirous to see that the institution of chieftaincy remain independent of political interference. The previous way of managing chiefdom affairs by the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs has been unpleasant. The ministry was effectively used to create patronage among the chiefs. It is in this vein that AGG appeal to the new government to recognize Mr. Henry Sosala who has suffered public humiliation as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba speaking people. 5. District Realignment: AGG is not averse to the creation of new districts as it is good for effective service delivery. However, AGG is averse to the changing traditional boundaries for any reason. It is for this reason that AGG calls on the new government to review and reverse the realignment of districts back to their origin provinces. 6. Electoral Reforms: as we move towards the presidential election and learning from the past experiences, it becomes clear that electoral reforms are inevitable in Zambia for us to have credible elections in 2016 and beyond. The new government should ambitiously embark on the electoral reforms especially with the enactment of the new constitution. 7. Road Development Agency (RDA): we expect the new government to reverse the relocation of RDA from State House back to the Ministry responsible as it has become apparently difficult to ensure accountability in the conduct of its business. 8. Separation of power and the rule of law: If Zambia's constitutional democracy is to take root and appreciated by majority, the constitution must be respected by all regardless. We expectant that the new government will restore the democratic principles of the separation of power and the rule of law. Currently, the executive is the too powerful as demonstrated by its deliberate and continuous ignoring and overriding decisions and recommendations from other arms of government. For instance, the current happenings where court orders are ignored and parliamentary recommendations are overlooked by the executive are clear signs of the breakdown of the rule of law. 9. By-parliamentary by-elections: If it were not for the breakdown of the rule of law where institutions take their time to make decisions on straight forward matters, AGG expected that Malambo, Mulobezi and Petauke Central parliamentary by-elections would have been held together with the presidential elections. The holding of these by-elections is long overdue and we are a loss to appreciate why the Court has not decided on this matter despite the constitution instructing that once a vacancy is created in an elective office, elections should be held in 90days. With these three constituencies, we are now heading into more than two years without holding these elections making a mockery of our representative democracy. 10. PF presidential Candidates: we are aware of the impasse in the PF camp with regards their presidential candidates. However, of interest to us is that the two claimants are members of parliament who are ineligible to contest the presidential elections as long as they remain in their parliamentary seats. We may seek the interpretation of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) on the meaning of Article 65 which states "a person who holds, or is a validly nominated candidate in an election for, the office of the president shall not be qualified for election as a member of the national assembly" to ascertain whether or not the two parliamentarians should remain in their elective constituency based seats as parliamentarians or relinquish should of one them one be validly get nominated by the party and consequently by ECZ. Does this entail a looming by-election in either Chawama or Matero constituency? Therefore, despite democracy being a good form of government, it requires that citizens exercise their social responsibility of holding the elected leaders to account. AGG calls on all Zambian citizens to remain vigilant and exercise their social responsibility before, during and after the elections. We encourage them to choose wisely now that another opportunity has been given to them to vote. Time has come to give the leadership mantle to the young generation while the old generation remains as governance, economic, social and cultural advisors to the young leaders. It will be a disservice for old generation to continue blocking young people from taking up political leadership responsibility in the name of lack of experience. How do they get experience when the old people continue to occupy those positions? To the church, it is not only the conscience of society that you carry but you act as an educator of the society's conscience. It is our belief that the church will provide nonpartisan leadership before, during and after the presidential elections. This goes to the media also and the traditional leadership.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
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Thursday, October 9, 2014
We have spent this week working towards fostering and engendering gender in politics and decision making in Malawi with a number of countries participating in the meeting....
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Does the subject refelect what is on the ground? Are we benefiting from this kind of investment at community level? Is it just there for documentation purposes?
ZAMBIA has the highest inflow of Foreign Direct Investment among the 16 Landlocked Developing Countries in Africa, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Speaking at a special event on facilitating the participation of LLDCs in regional and global community value chain, UNCTAD New York office chief Chantal Carpentier said FDI flows to LLDCs fell by 11 per cent in 2013, and that the Asian group of LLDCs experienced the largest fall in FDI flows of nearly 50 per cent. “Despite a mixed picture for African LLDCs, eight of the 16 LLDCs economies increased their FDI inflows, with Zambia attracting the most at $1.8 billion,” said Carpentier. At the same function, transport minister Yamfwa Mukanga urged LLDCs to strive to attain sustainable development and save the lives of the people from the poverty circle. “Our major pre-occupation should be to find lasting solutions to the challenges we face through diversification of our economies, value-addition to the commodities we produce, and enhancing our competitiveness which will enable us join regional and global value chains,” Mukanga said according to a statement issues by first secretary for press and public relations at Zambia’s permanent mission to the United Nations, Chibaula Silwamba, adding that “This will inevitably call for greater cooperation in fundamental transit policies, laws and regulations with our transit neighbours.” He expressed gratitude that UNCTAD continually advocated for a comprehensive development-centred agenda for LLDCs to address transport, transit and trade facilitation challenges. Mukanga called on development partners to assist LLDCs invest in infrastructure, development institutions, enhancement of entrepreneurship, training of human resource and skills development, technology acquisition and impart technological know-how in the people. “Regional integration and cooperation should be strengthened under the new concept of developmental regionalism to develop regional infrastructure networks which would in turn enhance competitiveness and increase productive capacities,” he said. “Unlocking the trade potential of LLDCs will also require the prioritisation of energy supply.” Presenting a case study on Zambia, economist and interregional consultant Lindani Ndhlovu said the country should work with its neighbours within the Regional Economic Community (REC) to develop infrastructure and reduce the cost of transport and electricity. “Build a more substantial and diversified industrial base for Zambia, using the catalytic force of the large mining investments. Facilitate the development of the manufacturing sector to increase opportunities for beneficiation of copper,” said Ndhlovu. The discussion - organised by UNCTAD, the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) and the UN OHRLLS - focused on the challenges, opportunities and the way forward for the development of the 32 landlocked developing countries. In July, the African Union said; “In recent years Zambia witnessed a substantial 93 per cent rise in investments compared to 2011, a feature attributable to a well-managed economy and a peaceful transfer of power.”- Article Written By Masuzyo Chakwe-The Post - Zambia records highest FDI inflow among LLDCs- Oct 3rd 2014
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
PEG Net Conference on Employment strategies in the Developing World - How to create sufficient, productive and decent jobs
FODEP will be exhibiting at this year's PEG Net Conference on Employment strategies in the Developing World - How to create sufficient, productive and decent jobs organized by the Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) at the New Government Complex in Lusaka, Zambia September 18-19, 2014 Conference tomorrow at Government Complex. Come and See what we have to offer
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
From our monitors in Mangango, Voting commence at 06:00 this morning. the overall situation: There are no signs intimidation or violence so far, voter turnout is avarage across polling stations. this Morning at 11:00 Chief Mwenemutondo of the Nkoya Speaking people cast his vote at Mutondo Primary School in Mangango constituency. This is an indication of the importance he has attached to the by-election and the democratic process of his country.Voter turnout in mangango is average as of 11:00 today 500 out 1832 voters had voted at Mangango primary school, 150 out of 682 voters had voted at Mutondo primary school in Mangango. We will keep you posted