United Party for National Development (UPND) deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka has insisted that the UN resident coordinator Janet Rogan connived with EZC officials and Patriotic Front leaders to rig the 2016 elections.
Speaking when he featured on a Diamond Television show dubbed Costa on Sunday night, Mucheleka not only accused Rogan of having participated in the rigging of elections in 2016 but also that she had been avoiding interaction with opposition political parties in the country.
“[The UPND Director for Policy and Research] Dr Cholwe Beyani has just revealed that a day after President Lungu met the UN representative in Zambia [Janet Rogan], after that the Chairman for ZCID Nathan Mulonga and the executive director went the following day to have a meeting with Janet Rogan and there is a statement [to that effect]. Do you know what ZCID and Mr Lungu have been discussing? Before elections, we as UPND were against the printing of ballot papers in Dubai because part of the funding [for that] was given by the UNDP and as stakeholders, we have every right to question an individual in the UN system including Janet Rogan. Where she sits, she must be ready to be held to account because when you are in that position, it is in the interest of her as an individual and the position that she occupies to ensure that she plays the role of a referee and be able to bring to the table all stakeholders and ensure that she is able to facilitate free and fair elections,” Mucheleka said.
Asked if he could explicitly state whether or not Janet Rogan single-handedly funded the printing of ballot papers outside the country, Mucheleka said the UNDP and ECZ never listened to his party when it spoke against printing ballot papers elsewhere.
“First of all, I want to say that the UNDP, the ECZ must listen to all stakeholders. UPND is a major stakeholder in the electoral process and we are going to continue to be so. Therefore, when we speak, we must be listened to. We spoke against the printing of ballot papers in Dubai but Janet Rogan and the UNDP systems did not listen to us. They went ahead with other people and had the ballots printed. What happened? We had all these problems because of the disputes arising from that. So we are saying, in going forward, I even want to challenge them to release their own report which they commissioned after the 2016 elections. They should release the conflict structural ability report. We want to look at the conclusions of that report by the UNDP as well as the recommendations. Why is she (Rogan) still sitting on it? Why hasn’t she released it to the public? We want to see because there are serious issues which have been highlighted in that report,” he said.
And Mucheleka said Janet Rogan should also find time to meet with opposition political leaders just like she had been doing with PF members.
“I also want to tell you that during our press briefing last week on Friday, the President of our party HH directed me to write to Janet Rogan to ask her to come and meet with our president. We have every right to meet her. But we are aware of what she’s doing, we have information that she’s busy mingling with the PF ministers. We have no problem with that but why is she not extending that to the opposition? Does it need to take president HH to ask her that we should meet? She must be aware that if you are going to be a fair referee, you must be able to meet the different stakeholders. It’s so easy for her to meet with the PF but let her extend the same gesture to the opposition,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mucheleka expressed hope that the impeachment motion that was presented to Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patric Matibini would be brought to the House for debate.
“Zambians should be given an opportunity to hear how Mr Lungu has abrogated the Constitution. And as UPND, we are very happy that our motion met the constitutional requirements for it to be tabled in the house and nothing will stop it from being tabled in Parliament, Mr Lungu has a tendency of breaking the law which he swore to protect. That is why we are calling him to order by invoking article 108 of the constitution. No one is above the law,” he said.
“And why are they panicking? They say they have got numbers but the moment our MPs took that motion to Parliament, everyone in PF has been issuing statements. Time is coming; hold your fire. The motion of impeachment must be heard on the floor of the house for Zambians to hear how Mr Lungu abrogated the constitution. There are many PF MPs who are bitter with Mr Lungu; those who feel they have been sidelined and are calling on us the UPND to help them and help Zambians, so that motion is going to be heard and PF MPs will vote with us.”
Mucheleka further observed that President Lungu was not being interested in the dialogue process.
“Mr Lungu and the PF are not interested in this dialogue process, that is why they are now insisting on engaging ZCID to spearhead the dialogue process instead of the Commonwealth who started it. ZCID has no capacity to spearhead the dialogue and that is very clear in the eyes of all well-meaning Zambians. And our position is very clear; no dialogue will take place with ZCID because it has no capacity to spearhead this dialogue which was initiated by the Commonwealth and the Church through Archbishop Mpundu. ZCID has never been relevant,” charged Mucheleka.