CiSCA publicity and Media Chairperson Mcdonald Chipenzi says remarks by YALI president Andrew Ntewewe purporting that ‘CiSCA Chairperson Bishop John Mambo was the first president of FODEP in 1991 and should resign in the civil society’ have factual errors and should not be taken seriously.

Recently, in a debate on whether Zambia should print ballot paper locally, Ntewewe rubbished Bishop Mambo’s argument saying the bishop had served for too long in the civil society and outlived his relevance.

“Bishop Mambo says we bring angels [if we are to print the ballots in Zambia], why should we even bring angels? If we are going to print outside, are we going to get angels in those countries where they are printing from? The older generation, for instance Bishop Mambo has been at this process. He was the first president of FODEP in 1991, so he has nothing to tell us at this particular time. This is why we have been saying that those that have done their part are supposed to be able to step aside. Bishop Mambo has been at this process in terms of elections for the past 28 years. So time has come to step aside. You can’t do civil society politics at this stage because you are going to use the same method that you used in 1990. This is 2018 and in 2018 what we look at is ‘we have to get the best out of government’,” said Ntewewe.

But in a statement issued to News Diggers! recently, Chipenzi refuted the claims saying the late Reverend Foston Sakala was the founding president of FODEP and not Bishop Mambo.

“As a former executive director of FODEP, I never came across any record showing that Bishop John H Mambo was the first president of FODEP. The records available indicate that late Reverend Foston Sakala was the founding president of FODEP. It’s true that Bishop Mambo monitored the 1991 elections under the auspice of Zambia Election Monitoring Coordinating Committee (ZEMCC) which later transformed into FODEP,” he stated.

He urged YALI to read the country’s history to understand the players well.

“Further, being a group of young leaders in YALI, it is better they read the country’s domestic observation activities history and understand the players very well. Also of importance, is a reminder to YALI that Jimmy Carter, former US president and Founder of the Carter Center, an electoral observer organisation, observed the 1991 elections under his leadership, who today is still instrumental in the Carter Center and in the electoral processes across the global. Therefore, YALI must further be reminded that there is no lake with only sardine fish but big fish are a necessity in the waters for a better aquaculture. To this end, the statement by YALI has factual errors and must not be taken seriously in as much as we respect YALI’s opinion,” stated Chipenzi.