NDC NATIONAL youth chairperson Charles Kabwita says Zambias should take it upon themselves to ensure that the 2021 general election is free and fair because the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has demonstrated it will not do what is in the best interest of the country.

In an interview, Kabwita said it was evident from the way the institution had conducted the voter registration exercise that it would fail to run next year’s election, and that Zambians should mount sustained pressure on the ECZ to do the correct thing.

“From the onset, the ECZ has not been trustworthy. We have tried, as political parties, to engage the Electoral Commission of Zambia on several occasions to ensure that the voter registration exercise is conducted in a transparent manner. But our efforts proved futile. ECZ, whenever they call for an interaction or consultation, they do not want to hear from us. But we are the ones on the ground and we know what is obtaining on the ground. We know the interest of the people. We have tried to put pressure on the ECZ so that they do what is in the best interest of Zambians, but they don’t want to. This, for me, shows that voter rigging has already begun. What they want is to have a small number of registered people so that it becomes easy for them to manipulate this election. Why did they discard the old register because from what is obtaining, the ECZ does not have money to run this process,” Kabwita said.

“It is not sensitising people on where the registration centres are. So, we wonder to whom are they conducting this process and what’s the criteria behind it? And people of Zambia, we must not continue to be docile on what this institution is doing to us; we need to rise and mount pressure on the Electoral Commission of Zambia and ensure that the nine million people they talked about are captured. We need to take it upon ourselves to ensure that the elections are free and fair and this should begin now because the ECZ have shown that they have no capacity to run this process.”

And Kabwita cautioned that the ECZ was capable of causing chaos in the country if left unchecked.

“If they are failing to run this process, then they will fail to run elections next year. There is no truthfulness in the conduct of the ECZ. And if this is left unchecked, the ECZ is capable of putting this country on fire! Because what everybody is yearning for is to have a voter’s card so that they can go and exercise their constitutional rights of voting out the PF and put in leaders that will provide the much-needed development. The people of Zambia want to get those cards and become voters so that we remove these corrupt leaders, who we feel are not running the affairs of Zambia in a way that is in the best interest of Zambians. This country is already divided, so divided and the misconduct of the Electoral Commission of Zambia is worsening it,” lamented Kabwita.

“We don’t need that right now. I, therefore, call upon all well-meaning Zambians, and when I mean all well-meaning Zambians, I don’t mean those people who do not talk because they have been sponsored, but those who talk because they are patriotic. Let’s mount pressure on this institution because they have taken us for granted. The marketeers, the students, civil servants and everybody else let’s take it upon ourselves to put pressure on this institution so that they can do what is right. This the opportunity that we have now, as Zambians, to change the leadership of this country. By the end of this voter registration process, I doubt if they will even manage to capture three million people. That is something we have always said to them. We told them and that’s why we say that they are taking us for granted. We have wasted so much money as a country on this. We could have saved and used the money for other things.”