UPND general secretary Steven Katuka says his party has reliable information that the Patriotic Front (PF) is ferrying Congolese nationals into the country to be registered as voters ahead of next year’s elections.

And Katuka says UPND does not believe that ECZ has really registered over 4.3 million voters, given the slow pace and the poor circumstances they are operating in.

In an interview, Katuka charged that ECZ had colluded with PF to rig the 2021 elections, alleging that PF was also registering underage pupils.

“We caution ECZ, let them do that which is right for the Zambia people. They do not own the Zambian people like the PF feels. They don’t own anybody. They are working for the Zambian people and on behalf of the Zambia people. That’s what we are saying. Why don’t they have the plan for extension? Because even you, if you had set goals for yourself, and you don’t seem to be meeting those goals, there is always a chance of you adjusting and the only adjusting they can do is to extend so that they can capture more people. But we are aware and as we are talking, in Luapula the PF are ferrying people from Congo to come and register. We are also aware that they are getting children from schools without even the consent of their parents,” Katuka said.

“They take them to go and take NRCs even before they reach the age of obtaining an NRC and then take them to register. That information we have is on the table. It’s happening now in Luapula and other provinces, their perceived strongholds. And if you look at the figures they have released, it is clear that those figures can’t be true. How can Muchinga have more people than Southern Province? In terms of population, Muchinga hasn’t got more people than the Southern Province. In the last recent election, Southern Province had over one million voters plus, and now they are struggling over 800, When people have been ferrying to go and register. So, we are not convinced with what ECZ is doing no wonder we say ECZ is colluding with the PF. All what we are seeing are the worst of the two working together to try and help PF win an election.”

Meanwhile, Katuka said UPND did not believe ECZ had registered over 4.3 million voters.

“First, we don’t believe in the figures they are giving us. We don’t agree with them at all. We don’t believe that they registered that many people. If you remember the last update, they gave us they mentioned that they had registered 2.7 million voters. From 2.7 million that was last week, and this week they say they have reached 4.3 million, how possible is that? So, we have been suspicious of the behaviour of the ECZ for a long time because they are not an independent Electoral Commission. They are always colluding with the PF and they are working towards helping the PF win an election. That is what we believe. Because what is happening now, I am just from their Munali constituency office for Nkandu Luo, they are busy giving people mealie meal. And this has been happening at Bowman Lusambo’s house. Every morning you find a lot of women there getting money and being given mealie meal. If you want to prove that right now go to Munali constituency office you will find women there, plenty, with bags of mealie meal,” said Katuka.

“So, they are colluding, ECZ is colluding with the PF to try and win them the elections next year. First, we don’t believe those figures are correct. And secondly, why are they adamant and abrogating the law because the law stipulates that they are supposed to do continuous registration but they decided to give 30 days. Now they are even adamant when they have failed to reach the nine million voters target. They had nine million as a target, they told Zambians that they intend to register nine million people, 4.3 is not even half of nine million. So how can they be adamant when the figures are clear that they haven’t achieved our goals. So, you can see that they have an agenda that is not known to you and me. They have an agenda that is not known and they put this country of fire because of their behaviours.”