Rainbow party leader Wynter Kabimba says his party deliberately decided not to participate in the July 26th Lusaka Mayoral by-election because he has outstanding issues with the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
Kabimba told News Diggers! in an interview that he was going to sue the Electoral Commission of Zambia for disregarding the 2016 High Court judgement ordering the commission be the institution in charge of validating certificates of aspiring election candidates instead of the Examination Council of Zambia.
“We have an issue with the Electoral Commission of Zambia. Every little political party is glossing over this issue until they get caught up in it in 2021, and that is the issue of validation of certificates. Our position is that there is a high court judgement which was delivered I think in May or June in 2016 and it was in the case of Sibongile Zulu versus the Attorney General and the Electoral Commission of Zambia. And in that case, the judge made it very clear that is not right for candidates to be getting their certificates validated by the Examination Council of Zambia. That job is an administrative job for the Electoral Commission of Zambia” Kabimba said.
Kabimba said that the Examination Council and the Electoral Commission were both stealing from poor citizens.
“In other words, the Examination Council of Zambia is stealing money from Zambian citizens that are standing as candidates, in collaboration with the Electoral Commission of Zambia. And these are poor people that even can’t afford a meal, and you are saying that you are promoting democracy in this country? democracy intells that the poor and the rich must participate in the affairs of their country. In the meantime, you are putting in place rules that have been outlawed by the high court, to discriminate against the poor people,” Kabimba said.
“We have written letters to the Electoral Commission of Zambia to say to them, ‘you didn’t appeal, you were a party to this game, Sibongile Zulu versus the Attorney General, the Electoral Commission of Zambia’, ‘So if you didn’t appeal, you must abide by the judgement.’ They have been dilly-dallying in giving us a clear answer. What we want to do now is [to] take the Electoral Commission of Zambia to court for contempt of Court. So we are not an opportunistic party. This is not about just participating in an election, it is to ensure that the electoral process in which we are participating does not discriminate against any citizen of this country, poor or rich.”
Kabimba however wondered how the electoral commission was failing to implement its own set rules.
“And this issue was agreed in 2016 and we all agreed, the political parties that are participating agreed that the Electoral Commission of Zambia that the validation of certificates should be done at the Electoral Commission of Zambia and everybody now has glossed over that agreement. And yet the Examination Council of Zambia does not even have the capacity when it comes to presidential and general elections to validate certificates for over 10, 000 candidates, if you look at councillors up to members of parliament. You have more than 10, 000 candidates, [but Examination Council of Zambia ] does not have the capacity. In 2016, people were spending nights at the Examination Council of Zambia getting their certificates validated. So you are putting rules in place when you do not even have the capacity to deal with those rules or to implement those rules. So for us as Rainbow party, we have an issue with the Electoral Commission of Zambia and the Examination Council of Zambia, and we want this issue to be resolved, that is the reason,” said Kabimba.