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Sunday, 13 February 2011

Broke Institutions (ECZ), 5th Edition

Earlier this month it was revealed that the government owes the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) a staggering K92 billion through unpaid allowances that have accumulated through the continuous mobile voter registration exercise. The debt is owed to electoral officers and transporters. According to the ECZ, "the commission is operating under very difficult conditions, and in the first phase of the voter registration, Government remained with a balance of K22 billion, which was supposed to be paid to the field workers. From the time we commenced the second phase of the exercise, Government owes us K92 billion. We are supposed to pay our field workers their outstanding arrears and some transporters whom we engaged to help us with the transportation of our field officers".  The debt remains and one need not be a genius to understand why these officers help with rigging elections. They are ripe for rigging! 

It has long been our central assertion that at the heart of our poor institutional performance is deliberate and calculated failure not to fund institutions. The problem is not that key institutions and laws don't exist, they do, the problem is lack of adequate support to ensiure they function properly. There's a lack of political will in many areas. How else does one explain why the National Constitutional Conference (NCC), making new laws got more money (and smoothly), than an already legal office like the ECZ, obliged under law to fulfil its duties? 

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1 comment:

  1. I am one of those who believes that he who accuses must prove. I have prided at your website being one of those that tries to provide some semblance of evidence (however flawed)before making allegations. As one person who was involved in the 2008 election, I strongly feel rigging an election in Zambia is easier said than done. I know that people will say the use of government resources amounts to rigging but that I feel is just failing to concede defeat.
    Cho, you claim that election workers are ripe for rigging. Another view would be that these workers bitter and would therefore not be used for any rigging (what ever that may mean).
    I think the Zambian economist should maintain its current writing style of focussing on facts and not suggestion and innuendo.


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