Pursuant to the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region and the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) sent a team of observers for the Zambia presidential elections.
The mission was led by Joseph Biribonwa, deputy chairperson of the Uganda Electoral Commission, and was composed of members of Angola, Central African Republic, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and members of the ICGLR Secretariat.
The observers followed the electoral process from January 14 to January 21 and deployed observers in the districts of Chibombo, Chisamba, Chongwe and Lusaka City.
The electoral process was generally peaceful, with a few cases of violence and intimidation reported during the campaign period. The Electoral Commission of Zambia conducted the process professionally within a short period of time.
The Commission carried out civic education an effort complemented by civil society organisations.
Political parties’ primaries were competitive and the nomination process was transparent, resulting in 11 nominated candidates who participated in subsequent campaigns.
The campaigns were free, as there were no candidates who were prevented from holding rallies and meetings, even though some allegations were made regarding the impartiality of media coverage.
Despite some reported incidents, the Electoral Commission of Zambia displayed a high degree of impartiality in dealing with all stakeholders.
Political parties were able to assemble, move, organise and express their views in conditions of freedom. Some opposition parties complained that the public media gave more coverage to the ruling party while the latter complained that certain sections of the private media were biased against it. We are unable to verify these complaints.
We would like to recommend that the government undertake electoral reforms and strengthen intraparty governance and management in order to improve discipline.
We are reasonably satisfied on balance, that the just ended elections were conducted in free, fair, transparent, credible and democratic environment, which substantially meets Chapter 3 of the ICGLR Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
It is our view that the elections meet regional and international standards. We take this opportunity to congratulate the people and political parties of Zambia for having maintained peace before and during the elections.
ICGLR Election Observation Mission to Zambia
LVEMP beneficiaries must follow rules
In a letter titled LVEMP funds should be well managed (Jan 3-9), Nazziwa Faridah indicated that the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project has been “plagued by inefficient financial management manifested in the delay in disbursement of funds, which always affects development.”
For the benefit of the readers, LVEMP II–Uganda is part of the regional initiative of five East African Community partner states which aims at improving the management of transboundary natural resources and reducing environmental stress for the improvement of livelihoods in the Lake Victoria Basin.
LVEMPII–Uganda works closely with communities around the Lake by supporting alternative community initiatives and district interventions that reduce environmental stress on Lake Victoria and thus contributes to the conservation and protection of the lake and the catchment areas.
Over the past nine months, LVEMPII–Uganda has supported 44 community-driven development and 25 strategic intervention sub-projects in nine districts, including Namayingo district, to the tune of Ush2.9 billion, which accounts for 50 per cent of approved budget for all sub-projects.
Some districts and community groups have performed well while others are yet to comply with agreed financial and reporting guidelines.
Replenishment of the fund is therefore dependent on proper accountability – based on verifiable financial and physical performance as well as satisfactory district accountability reports. Because of this, replenishment is on a case-by-case basis.
Communications specialist / LVEMPII