Political participation and voting pattern in Zambia: a study of general elections between 2006- 2016 in Nangoma constituency, Mumbwa district.

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Moonga Oliver
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The University of Zambia.
Despite various interventions to improve political participation during periodic elections in Zambia, low rates of political participation and regional voting patterns remain an emerging challenge to the development of democratic governance and also economic development. It was the intention of the study to examine the political participation and voting patterns based on the study case of Nangoma Constituency so that corrective measures could be proposed for implementation by relevant authorities that may help alleviate the identified problem or situation. The study was guided by transformative learning theory. A Case study design was applied with the help of semi-structured interview using interview guide and questionnaire as instruments for data collection. A purposive sampling and to a lesser extent quota sampling were employed to form an accessible sample size of forty (40) respondents. Ten (10) of these were classified as key informants while thirty (30) were ordinary constituency members from Nangoma Constituency. The study established that most of the electorates had a fairly positive attitude towards political participation. However, some factors that influence political participation were identified as; for economic benefit, prestige, public respect and democratic right purposes among others. As for the case study of Nangoma Constituency, some of the causal factors that influenced the described trends of voter participation and voting pattern identified include: background relationships (ethnicity, religion), potential for economic liberation, and desire for change of leadership, party manifesto, incumbency factor, media / campaign coverage extent and bribery. Furthermore, the study found that citizens’ political participation through voting was affected by some factors such as; lack of effective voter education, unfavorable time of holding elections, quality and capacity of election management, distance to polling stations, issues of electoral violence among others. Based on the findings it was recommended that i) Electoral Commission of Zambia should conduct effective continuous voter education local stakeholders; ii) Parliament should pass laws that enhance voter safety before, during and after elections; iii) The Electoral Commission of Zambia should hold elections during the dry season; and iv) Electoral Commission of Zambia should intensify Voter Education in far flung areas; v) the Electoral Commission of Zambia should work with traditional leaders and Non-Governmental organizations for the area during voter education
Thesis of Masters of Education in Civic Education.