PF tries to buy votes with money, gifts – M’membe – the Mast Online
FRED M’membe asked what happened so that people received all kinds of handouts from PF politicians.
Zambia is expected to hold a crucial general election in August.
Dr M’membe, the chairman of the Socialist Party, regrets that Zambian voters have been forced to wait for feasts or handouts (tulyemo) from the candidates.
In a statement from his Garden office in Lusaka, Dr M’membe noted that suddenly the PF and his government had so much money to “throw to the Zambian voters”.
He asked where this money came from in a government that “embarrassingly does not meet its debt service obligations.”
“And why this sudden benevolence?” All of a sudden people are getting all kinds of gifts and presents! What happened? “Asked Dr M’membe.” It is not about what happened that we should watch and listen, but what will happen on August 12th that we should. concentrate. They try to buy our votes with money and “freebies”! But are we so gullible? Can these bribes prevent us from seeing reality and make us vote for them in spite of the enormous damage they have caused to our country?
Dr M’membe asked if members of government are now people Zambians can trust to continue to preside over their destiny.
He said Zambia was broke because of “the reckless way they spent public funds”.
“Something about the way they’ve handled public money isn’t working. Our problem is not only that our country does not have enough money, but that when we got the money, they spent it recklessly, ”said Dr M’membe. “And they spent it on anything! Really 99% of the problems we as a nation have with money is not that there isn’t enough of it, but in that we spend it recklessly once we actually get it!
He further explained what prompts a voter in Zambia to vote for a candidate or political party, noting that generally his choice would be influenced by identity, outlook, performance or ethnicity. of the candidate.
He added that cash bribes to voters were also widely seen as influencing the voting choices of the poorest and most vulnerable voters.
Dr M’membe said trying to buy votes with money and other gifts in the run-up to elections by the ruling party was not unusual in Zambia.
“One of the main reasons is that politics has become fiercely competitive. The margins of victory are getting smaller and smaller, ”said Dr M’membe.
“Our elections have also become volatile. Our ruling parties do not control voters as well as they once could. “
He said ruling parties and candidates were more uncertain of the results than ever, “and were trying to buy votes by splurging on voters.”
However, Dr M’membe said Zambia’s experience was that bribing voters in general elections does not necessarily lead to votes.
“It works a lot more in by-elections but not in general elections,” he noted. “Competitive elections prompt the ruling party to distribute handouts – mostly in cash and in kind – for strategic reasons. Knowing that handouts are largely ineffective, they find themselves faced with a prisoner’s dilemma, where the fate of each prisoner depends on the actions of the other.
He recalled how the distributions of money and other gifts in 2011 influenced a tiny number of voters.
Michael Sata’s “Don’t Kubeba” worked! Voters became shrewd, having realized that it was nearly impossible for candidates and their political parties to ‘monitor’ their electoral behavior, ”said Dr M’membe. “So they pocketed the money and betrayed even the most generous candidate.”
He said there seemed to be an overwhelming belief in the ruling parties in Zambia that they could buy the votes of the poor.
“That’s why they bribe voters,” Dr M’membe said. “The corruption of voters could have a cultural explanation. We have the feeling that our poor voters appreciate rich or generous candidates. And that in a very unequal society, cash bribes and gifts create a feeling of reciprocity. We have a long history of patronage politics.
He further noted that Zambian electoral politics were increasingly articulated in the traditional idiom of patronage.
“Our voters were forced to wait for feasts or gifts from the candidates – tulyemo! The donor-servant relationship is increasingly becoming the basic formula through which people exchanged things, wielded power and were socially bonded, ”said Dr M’membe. “In specific historical contexts, corruption can make elections less predictable, dissolving existing ties by which the electorate is already linked to those running for office, rather than strengthening them. “
He said corruption can be seen as evil because of its side effects.
“The need to bribe implies the need to raise funds. This can take place through corrupt means, or can produce financial and / or political debts, which corrupt the behavior of politicians when they are in power, ”he said. “This may be one way that people outside the political process, whether they are legitimate businessmen or criminals, such as gangsters and drug lords these days, seek to control it. “
He said; “If pursued on a large scale, corruption can have unfortunate political consequences by dangerously increasing credit. “
Dr M’membe noted that furthermore, if corruption were prevalent in elections, it would affect the perception of politics both by candidates for office and by those who elect them.
“Job seekers may come to despise the venality of an electorate who, unwittingly, can exercise a considerable degree of independent judgment; the electorate for its part can infer from the bribes offered to it, that those who exercise a public office are only selfish people who do not care about the general interest of the public ”, explained Dr M ‘membe. “This is the reality we face as we move towards August 12th.”