PF chairperson for elections Yamfwa Mukanga says Zambians will have no option but to vote for the ruling party in 2021 because it has changed many people’s lives.
And Mukanda says the PF will be disadvantaged if prisoners are allowed to vote.
Commenting on UPND president Hakainde Hichilema’s remarks that he would restore law and order which had been lost under the PF administration, Mukanga said in an interview that Hichilema was joking and had no experience on governance issues.
“What PF has done is equal to none. PF has changed the lives of people. Yes I know they are a few challenges here and there and our President knows that we are trying to work on all those challenges. We are doing all we can to prepare ourselves to register as voters and tell our people to register. As PF, we will sell what we have done to the people and tell them the developmental projects we have done. They will have no option but to vote for the Patriotic Front. Come 2021, we will have our candidate Edgar Chagwa Lungu and we will make sure that we go through,” Mukanga said.
“I want to state that [what Hichilema said] is not a serious statement, that is a joke. So he shouldn’t say things like that if he is a leader worth his salt. He is supposed to mention what he will do for the people of Zambia, not trying to market himself and put himself first when he has never been a ward councillor. He has never been a branch chairman,” Mukanga said.
“What does he know about governance? Governance is about exposure, experience and understanding how things are supposed to be done. He has never been a member of parliament. What does he know? We do not want people, you know we have reached a stage as Zambians and we have grown in the way things are done. So to me, he cannot be saying what he is saying. I am very disappointed in him.”
Mukanga said the PF was the only party that was showing democratic tenets in the country by holding intra party elections.
“Do you know that when people talk about democracy, they should not just be talking about democracy in their private rooms. If they are democratic, they should give examples on how democratic they are in their political parties. As Patriotic Front, and as chairman of elections, I will tell you that we have been trying to carry out elections in our various provinces from grassroots to the province. For your own information, we have done North Western, Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, and Southern Provinces. This week, we will be doing Western Province. We have also done Muchinga. We are doing all we can to show that our party rides on the tenets of democracy,” Mukanga said.
“Then someone wants to be a leader, what type of leader is he going to be? What is the opposite of democracy? Everybody knows. We do not want dictators in the country. We want people who have been duly elected. Elections should start from the grass roots and that is what we are demonstrating as the Patriotic Front. The other parties… I don’t want to mention them, because they are not democratic, everybody knows. Everybody knows how some of them have been in power for years. I think Diggers should be visiting when we are having conferences to see how democratic we are, rather than just writing and you don’t see.”
And Mukanga said it was not likely that prisoners would vote for the party in power and as such, the move would disadvantage the Patriotic Front..
On Tuesday, ECZ Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano announced that the commission had registered over 11 000 prisoners from its target of 16 000, but Mukanga said the move was not good for his party.
” Of course, it is a disadvantage on our side as the PF because those people have been incarcerated. We have been using the law, but the truth is that if every stakeholder agrees that we give them an opportunity, who are we not to accept what the stakeholders want? So that is what we are trying to do. When it comes to going there (correctional facilities), we will depend on the ECZ guidelines because I believe every election has a code of conduct and a code of process. So, we will follow what ECZ says. Whatever the situation will [be, we], will do whatever we can do to ensure that, in terms of campaigns, we will share with them. If there will be no campaigns, nobody will be allowed to go in the prisons. There will definitely be a procedure that will be given to us by ECZ and that is what we are going to follow,” said Mukanga.