Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament Gary Nkombo says the Electoral Commission of Zambia risks running a non credible election because the whole electoral process has been sham.
In an interview, Nkombo said the electoral process was a sham because the Commission had failed to take on board views from all stakeholders.
“The whole exercise has been a sham, that is the way to put it. It has been a complete sham because ECZ is just following their own mind. They are not listening to the players and because that is the case, they risk running a non credible election, because at the end of it all, there are many people who have checked online and found that their details are missing. You see, it’s because they did it in a rush, so they should have allowed more time for the registration and even less time for verification,” said Nkombo.
“Well on the international observers, that is beyond everyone’s thinking because we don’t know how this COVID-19 thing is going to escalate or de-escalate. So I hope it de-escalates in this case, the international observers should be welcome, but if it escalates, we also can run a risk of people working with impunity the way they have always done. We would like to see them actualise the banning of violent parties because they have always been treating the PF with kids’ gloves, because PF is the most violent party under the sun.”
On Monday, ECZ Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano said the commission was hell-bent on delivering credible elections and would suspend any erring political parties and candidates during the campaign period which will run from May 24 to August 11
“The public should be able to condemn electoral violence and we need the police also to work with us. So, the commission did amend the electoral code of conduct last year. Part of that is to ensure that we strengthen sanctioning as provided for. We will be able to move in our own instance when it comes to sanctioning political parties, erring political parties within what is prescribed by law which is miner disputes when it comes to the electoral code of conduct. And we will do that religiously,” said Nshindano.
“We will sanction political parties and individuals who will be found wanting because we are determined and we have resolved that we will deliver a credible election, we will not be swayed by circumstances. That is why I said we will sanction erring political parties and individuals. But there has been a lot of investment with key stakeholders including the police and the police will be launching something around elections. So, we don’t want these elections to be marred by violence because when you disqualify a candidate, there are also other issues that arise. There are others who will feel dishearten and say this candidate was disqualified because that other candidate was favoured, we don’t want that.”