UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka says the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) should emulate South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) which conducted free and fair elections last week.

In a statement, Monday, Mucheleka said ECZ chairman Esau Chulu should not shield his organisation from being transparent through giving information to the public, by blaming disinformation and social media.

“We ask Judge Chulu to emulate the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South African’s way of running elections. He should also uphold the highest levels of professionalism in the execution of his duties as Head of ECZ as well as tutor other officials at ECZ to be neutral and remain non partisan. And, if he truly means what he says, he should advocate for a free and independent Electoral Body that doesn’t have influence from the Executive arm of Government as things stand in Zambia today. We also want to advise the ECZ to desist from aiding the PF in winning elections in a fraudulent manner as was the case in 2016 which did not reflect the will of the people of Zambia. We deserve an independent electoral body to grow our democracy,” Mucheleka said.

“It is very saddening that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chairperson, Esau Chulu wants to hide his organisation at handling the country’s elections behind the veil of disinformation and abuse of social media. Being the Head of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) team for Election Management Bodies comprising 10 Observer Missions for the just-ended May 8 elections in South Africa, we believe Judge Chulu has also learnt how to conduct an election in a credible, fair and transparent manner.”

He said the ECZ was taking sides during elections hence the continuing electoral impasses in Zambia.

“Instead of lying that social media has contributed to disinformation of the electorate on election related news, Chulu should take a leaf and learn from his South African counterparts on the best way to handle elections in Zambia. We want to remind Judge Chulu that it is neither Facebook nor any other social media platform which is responsible for the electoral rift in Zambia, but the inability by ECZ to desist from taking political sides as has been the case,” said Mucheleka.