The role of constituency Offices in enhancing democracy and communication between members of parliament and their electorates: The case of Kabwata Constituency

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Limata, Kashimbi
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This study sought to examine the role of Kabwata Constituency Office in enhancing democracy and communication between the Member of Parliament and the constituents in Kabwata, Lusaka. The constituency offices were established as part of the parliamentary reforms which the National Assembly embarked on with the re-introduction of Multi-party democracy in 1991. The offices aim at improving the constituent-Member relations and also to enhance the representative functions of Members of Parliament.The study was done using in depth interviews with two key stakeholders and a quantitative survey method of 100 constituents selected using clustered methodology. The results from the study revealed that majority of the people knew of the existence of the office. However, despite this only very few had visited the constituency office. The study further revealed that this could be attributed to the lack of adequate sensitisation programmes on the existence and purpose of the office. The study revealed that more still needs to be done if the offices are to fully serve their intended purpose. The study further revealed that there was need to engage the people so that they fully understand their role in the operations of the constituency office. Enhanced sensitisation campaigns therefore, need to be undertaken. This also calls for enough resources to be allocated to the constituency offices in order for them to be able to carry out sensitisation campaigns.
Zambia.National Assembly , Legislative bodies-Zambia , Zambia.Politics and government-1991-