FORMER Commerce Minister Bob Sichinga says the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s (ECZ) inadequacies in running the voter registration exercise are testament of a lack coordination between the commission and government.
And Sichinga says he is delighted that he is not part of President Edgar Lungu’s government because working for him would have dented his reputation.
In an interview, Sichinga said there was a serious disjoint in coordination between government and the ECZ.
“There is a disjoint here between government. That’s why we have all these issues. Just look at the Veep, Inonge Wina. She is somebody I have known for a long time. And frankly and it is unfortunate that having been chairperson of the Non-Governmental Gender Organisation Coordinating Council, and the way we have looked at her and the way we have held her, was that she has integrity. Now integrity has to be maintained, you have say what is truthful, you have to say what is factual. Now, when something comes to her table and she knows that this is not likely, it means that there is a disjoint between government and her office. And that could be the position with the ECZ. There could be a disjoint in terms of the way they are operating. It’s a disgrace,” Sichinga said.
“It is clear that the ECZ and government are not being sincere. They are not giving all the information there is to give. And we are seeing to say wait a minute, this is not correct. It’s like the integrity is all gone. That is why thank God that I am here because I wouldn’t have loved to be associated with things of questionable nature. I don’t want to do that and as far as I am concerned, I don’t want to be said that I stole, I do not want people to say he was not entitled. I don’t want that.”
And Sichinga said he was delighted that he was not part President Lungu’s government saying that would have dented his reputation.
“In this particular case, Mr Lungu found me unworthy of contributing to his government and I am very happy that was the case. Because I wouldn’t have survived working for government in this environment. I do not want to be part of this scandalous behaviour exhibited by those in government today. Right now how do we look at our Ministers and our Members of Parliament serving in government? Do we see integrity? The answer is no. And that why the ECZ is coming up the way it is coming up. And now they are talking ill about late President Michael Sata,” Sichinga said.
“It’s statements that are malicious. And the people that are saying these things were not even the founding members of the party. People that were not in the party in the first place, the likes of Dora Siliya, the likes of Bowman [Lusambo] were not even there. How can they say what they are saying? And everybody else is endorsing what they are saying by keeping quiet. I feel any reasonable MP should stand up and condemn statements about late President Michael Sata that what you are saying is wrong. These people are in government on account of Mr Sata and today they are insulting the same person? It does not make sense. And for me it does not make sense at all that we have come to this.”
He said the PF was now full of opportunists who had failed to add value.
“And this also reflects on the character of the of the people themselves. These are the people who jump from one party to another seeking opportunities. They are opportunists and there is no way you can be talking ill of the people that have given you that opportunity. But this is the kind of government we are dealing with today. It’s extremely scandalous. That is why I was saying there is simply no coordinated approach from government and the ECZ itself because of the kind of people in there,” said Sichinga.