Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director Chimfwembe Mwenge says the United Nations should not preserve the stay of its representative in Zambia Janet Rogan if the allegations against her are grounded.
Mwenge has however asked the United Party for National Development (UPND) to produce proof of its allegations against Rogan on her alleged misconduct and physical involvement in the rigging of elections in 2016.
In an interview with News Diggers, Mwenge said the allegations from the UPND against Rogan were lacking specifications of what the UN chief in Zambia did exactly, and challenged the opposition party to produce substantive evidence before suggesting that she must be recalled.
“First of all, I think people must understand what the role of the United Nations (UN) is. The role of the UN is actually very clear and their engagement is through government, being an intergovernmental partner. So really, with that, it is important to appreciate that the forefront of what the UN does is to promote peace and development. And through that mandate, they are actually not supposed to be partisan in any manner. Therefore, with the allegations that have come forth, particularly coming from the leadership of the UPND…we have read the allegations but we find that the allegations are lacking specifications and that truly if the Zambian people are to appreciate the wrong doing on the part of the UN resident coordinator Madam Janet Rogan, it’s important that the public is furnished with the full details of the wrong doing of the UN chief. Particularly that the allegation has been made in the public, I think it is the responsibility of the UPND to actually bring out the specific wrong doing of the UN Chief in Zambia so that we can actually appreciate how the agency misconducted itself,” Mwenge said.
Mwenge said people should not just be preoccupied with painting people black at the expense of developing the country.
“An allegation of that magnitude shouldn’t just be left hanging, then also I think it’s equally important that the media appreciates the context in which the UN operates. That way I think you will do justice to ask the public, the Zambian people who are reading so that you know in which context these kinds of communications are sent out. But we also feel that if the allegations are grounded that the UN Chief in Zambia conducted herself in a partisanship manner. I think that there shouldn’t be any way of preserving her stay in Zambia, she must be recalled if the allegations against her are substantive. But again it’s very important for us as a nation that we should speak to issues and not merely wanting to paint people or institutions black for whatever reason or selfish interests,” said Mwenge.
“In electoral process basically, what is at the call is the will of Zambian people which is expressed through a credible free and fair elections. That means that no any other person is to interfere either directly or indirectly in that process, including the UN chief. But their role should end at supporting state infrastructures to ensure that the will of the Zambian people is not circumvented in any way in an election. So that is why we are saying that this kind of an allegation is not a small thing, it is a huge allegation in the sense that we the public must be satisfied that we do have an agency of the UN which puts the security of the world and indeed the Zambian citizenry at the forefront and not partisanship. But equally, it’s important to those that may have information regarding the wrong doing to table out that information in black and white so that all of us can actually appreciate.”