PF CHAIRMAN for elections Yamfwa Mukanga says the UPND should stop complaining over the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s provincial voter register because the Commission did a commendable job.
And Mukanga says PF has solutions to the challenges which the country is facing.
Commenting on UPND vice-president Mutale Nalumango’s recent remarks that the ECZ disadvantaged some provinces in last year’s voter registration exercise, Mukanga disputed her assertion, insisting that the ECZ did a recommendable job.
“When they produced the statistics, is it about happiness? No! It is not about happiness, it has to do with the reality on the ground. So, even ourselves, we could have loved to have even more numbers. You know, this is proper data where every number can be attached to a person, so they are not dreaming of the numbers. For us, we would have loved to have more people register so that it becomes more democratic. We were not looking at regions, we are the party in power, we want everyone to register in numbers and that is what we wanted and that was what we are preaching. We were not saying only to register in our strongholds; we went round preaching registration of voters throughout the country so that as many people are eligible as registered voters. So, it has nothing to do with whether ‘Yamfwa Mukanga is happy or not with the figures,’ no! It has to do with the people who registered,” Mukanga argued in an interview.
“If we see that the numbers are low, they will just complain that the numbers are low, there is no reason to say, ‘they are low’ because they are higher than the ones we had last time. So, I don’t think it’s genuine, people should not be hypocrites, people should be able to appreciate what Zambians have done by registering. We shouldn’t think that because we are popular here, we want to have more votes, no, that is not democracy. Democracy is about people registering at will and they can be helped to register and then it is their decision either to vote or not. Even in Southern Province, how do they know that those people who registered in Southern Province will vote for them? Things have changed. So, we shouldn’t be thinking that unless it suits me that is when the statistics are well. Let us accept what the ECZ have done; they have done a recommendable job! Those figures are attached to names so no one can complain. I would have loved to have more figures, even myself.”
Mukanga urged the UPND and other opposition parties to work hard to oust the PF from government.
“PF is very confident because we will start campaigns immediately when Parliament is dissolved, we will move in. We will get our nominations done, we will get the right people and I am sure we are the champions. To beat a champion, you should work very hard. Do you know I am a boxing fan; I am a fan of Mohammed Ali. To beat those champions, you needed a knockout, not unanimous decisions where they just sit and say, ‘let us count the points,’ no! So, we are the people in the seat, we will work very hard to ensure that we raise our voter numbers in terms of campaigns and everybody else should do the same so that we provide a democracy,” Mukanga said.
“Democracy is a game of numbers, so people should just work very hard and they should just not complain. Complaining doesn’t help. We have lost previously when we were in the opposition and we worked very hard, we came into power. Now that we are in power, we should consolidate our power by working very hard through campaigns and showing what we have done. There are many who are even better than UPND. So, what I am trying to say is that, those political parties, let them join the race; they should stop talking through the media. During campaigns, let them also start campaigning.”
And Mukanga, a former transport and communications minister in the Sata-led administration, said the solutions to the challenges Zambians faced lay in the hands of the PF.
“We know what challenges people are facing; everybody knows about unemployment, everybody knows that people want food on their table. We have a solution and the solution lies in the hands of PF. PF is not going there to say, ‘we will do this and this,’ no. PF is going there to explain what we have done and what we intend to do about the challenges, we will explain what we are going to do,” said Mukanga.