MOVEMENT for Democratic change (MDC) interim president Felix Mutati says the pain Zambians are going through is too much for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) not to listen to their cries.

And Mutati says the MDC needs to define itself as a real alternative party to voters.

Speaking to journalists shortly after visiting Kalulushi District on the Copperbelt Province, Sunday evening, Mutati said despite the ECZ’s progress made on the ongoing voter registration exercise, citizens would not stop complaining about the slow process because voters had still not yet been fully satisfied.

“I think the noises that have been made by the various stakeholders, including myself; we are beginning to see a situation where we are being listened to. More personnel have been deployed. The hours of work have been increased and, therefore, there is improvement in terms of the way we want it to be. We are not fully satisfied, but at least when people talk, show that you have listened and you are doing something about it because that is what humanity is about. And for me, it is to say, ‘yes, you have gone in the correct direction, you can do a lot better’ and I think there are some levels of improvement. Now, Zambians, who are hungry and stay on the line for hours…the pain is too much for the ECZ not to listen to them. So, we have seen some improvements and we shall continue making noises,” Mutati said.

And Mutati, a former finance minister in President Edgar Lungu’s government, said that the MDC needed to define itself as a real alternative party to Zambians.

“I will show you something because sometimes when you speak about yourself, you can perhaps overrate yourself and people will say, ‘Mutati this, Mutati that,’ so we sent a team to Southern Province to say you go and test the waters and the message we got there is positive. So, I think the key message that we are sending is that we need to be a bit more visible, we need to be a bit more on the road. We need to be a bit more engaging to make an impact. We need to define ourselves,” he said.

He, however, bemoaned that 50 per cent of Zambians remained reluctant to vote because they did not see any change.

“There is an opportunity because people are looking for an alternative that they can use for comparison and whether that alternative can be it. So, there is that chance because over 50 per cent of the people are reluctant to vote because they don’t see any change. As a party, we need to go out of Lusaka and meet the rural people and let’s hear about what they think,” said Mutati.