By-elections, a leaky pipe of national treasury – Chipenzi

By Staff Reporter

Governance, Elections, Advocacy, and Research Services (GEARS) Initiative is concerned with the unnecessary by-elections occasioned by resignations of MPs and civic leaders.

Organisation Executive Director McDonald Chipenzi said that he has realised that there is a lot of wastage and the electoral process in Zambia is a leaky pipe of the national treasury.

Chipenzi disclosed that an inquiry at the ECZ on the cost of holding one by-election reveal that the cost is just too high.

He lamented that   it is very sad that leaders continue to be so selfish and abuse a democratic process like a by-election.

“From the ECZ cost estimates, one by election for instance in 2018, albeit district, constituency etc was at least K12m,”he stated.

He indicated that from 2006-2016, Zambia held about 411 by-elections with ward taking the large chunk of 358 by-elections, Constituency (MPs) 49 and mayoral/district chairpersons, four by-elections.

“If you calculate the cost at an average of K12m per by-election, the amount is so astronomical to even contemplate about,” he observed.

“How many schools, hospitals, roads, shelters can be constructed from the money heading towards by-elections?” Chipenzi questioned.

Chipenzi has advised elected leaders to avoid being selfish, gluttons and put the interests of their electorate first by not resigning unnecessarily.