Two electoral officers have been fired for allegedly charging people to obtain voter’s cards in Kasama District of Northern Province.
The two suspects namely Sharpie Chambeshi who is the assistant registration officer, and a police officer Constable Pure Chapa who was mandated to man the said polling station had their contracts terminated after openly admitting the offence.
This came to light when Kasama District commissioner Kelly Kashiwa paid an impromptu visit at Chanda Mukulu Polling station to find out the cause of continuous low turnout of people obtaining voter’s cards in the area.
However, when the District Commissioner ordered them to pay back the money to the owners, the officers only managed to produce K20 and promised to pay the rest later.
It was at this point that many local people started flocking to the station to demand for their money on learning that they were not supposed to pay to obtain voter’s cards.
And Mr. Kashiwa who was visibly annoyed warned that he did not want to see the named two officers being engaged in any Government programmes again.
He said such officers were not only stealing money from the poor people but depriving them their rights to vote.
Mr. Kashiwa further charged that Government is not going to rest until such officers are withdrawn from the system.
He said he was surprised to note that since the programme started this year, only 200 people were issued with cards in the entire Chanda Mukulu area.
Meanwhile Provincial electoral officer Abel Siwakwi who also rushed to the scene, has since terminated the contracts of Chapa and Chambeshi and replaced them with new officers.
Mr. Kashiwa further said he visited the area after receiving numerous reports that some Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) agents were charging people before issuing them with cards in Chanda Mukulu’s area.
Northern Province is one of the areas in the country where the number of people issued with voter’s cards is very low and only about 28,000 cards have been issued so far in the Province.