By elections, count us out-Caritas

Caritas Zambia has threatened to withdraw its members from taking part in any induced future by-elections because it is a sheer waste of funds.
And Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive officer Reverend Pukuta Mwanza says induced by-elections are  a huge cost to the nation and the  PF leadership must realize that they are doing a disservice to Zambians .
In its write-up, Caritas Zambia had expressed displeasure at the manner the PF government is handling issues of governance by promoting by-elections, which are an expensive undertaking for the country.
“We are considering withdrawing our members from participating in by-elections as it has proved a huge drain on public resources. It was irresponsible for the Patriotic Front (PF) government to continue spending money on by-elections while the majority of Zambians were going hungry and remained poor, without jobs and other necessities.”
The organization which has since written to all its members across the country to offer views on the matter, said that the PF government was set  to wipe out the opposition by targeting a record over 50 election petitions and subsequent by-elections in the event that they were all nullified.
But President Sata has described those criticizing him and his government on by-elections as trivial and lacking understanding.
“Our constitution is clear on the circumstances and procedures under which parliamentary or local government by-elections are permissible. And all registered political parties are at liberty to exercise their constitutional right to participate in any subsequent contest that might arise,” President Sata in a statement released on Tuesday.
And Rev. Mwanza said that it was not right for the PF to hide behind a veil that the current by-elections were not induced by the leadership when they were busy offering opposition Members of Parliament positions in government.
He said that although it was right to suggest that democracy was an expensive attainment and undertaking, it was also wrong for any leadership whose interest was to serve the nation to create and promote unwarranted by-elections.
Rev. Mwanza said that the Church and the people of Zambia were extremely concerned with the leadership style of the PF as it showed signs of priding itself in taking the country back.
“The current scenario is highly un-Zambian and a sign of irresponsibility by those in leadership to force or create by-elections that can easily be avoided at all cost. It is also sad that even President Michael Sata seems to be comfortable with the by-elections when children in the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) are dying because there are no milk supplements,” he said. Rev. Mwanza said that it was sad that at a time when the country was expecting a poor harvest the PF government had embraced by-elections as one way of consolidating governance.

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