THE ELECTORAL Commission of Zambia says it will not be drawn into unsubstantiated political allegations but will rather focus on delivering a credible election.

On Monday Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu said ECZ was trying to rig next year’s elections by systematically disenfranchising voters owing to the shortened period of voter registration which has since lapsed.

But in an interview, ECZ chief electoral officer Patrick Nshindano said it was very unfortunate that some people wanted to deliberately mislead the masses.

“The only thing to say that it’s very unfortunate that some people want to deliberately mislead the masses. Information for anyone who genuinely wants to understand the processes and what the commission is doing is readily available and we will not be drawn into unsubstantiated political allegations but rather focus on doing the right thing and prepare adequately to ensure we deliver a free, fair and credible election in August 2021,” said Nshindano.

The clergyman accused the Commission of being “thieves by disenfranchising millions of Zambians” following the just-ended voter registration period, which ran for an unprecedented five week period.

“Democracy is a game of numbers by bowing to the presidency and scrapping the old register process, the ECZ has already disenfranchised millions of people. This process by the ECZ began in the rainy season which makes it very difficult for voters in rural areas to travel facilities to register. It is criminal for ECZ to disenfranchise even one single voter . This was done on purpose to reduce the number of voters especially in rural areas because they know that especially the opposition has more support in rural areas. It is a way of rigging the elections. They tried in Bill 10 and it didn’t succeed and now it is on this. Our own government by ditching the continuous voter registration process has deprived millions of citizens of their right to vote. Instead of being happy that the ECZ has extended the voter registration process, I am very annoyed because these are thieves who have robbed citizens of the power to vote,” said Archbishop Mpundu.

“My words to ECZ is that I am not grateful at all, on the contrary I am not happy because they have taken the people of Zambia for fools who cannot see that we are being shortchanged and we are supposed to be grateful for this? We say away with you with your useless tricks. They should all resign. The matter should be taken to the Constitutional Court for adjudication.”