NEWLY-APPOINTED PF Political and Media Committee Spokesperson Amos Chanda says the Kwacha has rebounded against all major currencies because it has sensed continuity.
And Chanda says despite the Kanyama killings, PF believes the general situation in the country is one which can ensure a free and fair election is held.
Speaking during a media briefing, Thursday, Chanda said the PF could not speak on a possibility of handing over power to the opposition because all indications were that there would be continuity.
He argued that the Kwacha had appreciated because the financial market had seen that the political leadership in place was stable enough to see the country through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a party that plays by the electoral rules. We are seeing a continuation and when you are continuing, you cannot hand over. The President is on course to win and that is the only reason why we cannot talk about power transfer because it is a continuation. In an electoral process, the economy of the country becomes a major point of debate. The currency of any country becomes very sentimental to the developments in both political and market situations. When you see the rebound of the Kwacha in the manner it is doing, it is sensing continuation. That is why there is a rally in the Kwacha because it is injecting confidence. The financial market is seeing that the political leadership in place is stable enough to see the country through the COVID-19 situation and all these challenges. The Kwacha itself has sensed continuation and we are also sensing continuation. So in that regard, in a free and fair environment we are looking at numbers that point to a clear victory,” Chanda said.
And Chanda said his party was confident that the August 12 polls would be free and fair.
“There are regrettable incidences that are in the public domain, paramount are the evil killings of our party supporters in Kanyama. This is a stain on the collective conscience of the country. The party leadership has condemned [this]. What the PF noticed is that that degeneration of disorder cannot be entertained. That is why the PF has called upon the police to do more to ensure that there is peace and stability. The observance of the situation in the last few days gives hope that actually the elections can be held in a free and fair atmosphere,” Chanda said.
“We can all see that there is an assurance in the population that the moral standing of the majority of citizens love peace. Our perception of the situation is that the credible electoral process is in place. The ECZ gives rules and all participants who decide to participate in an election must subject themselves to the rules that are set. Otherwise you cannot go into a game whose rules you dispute from the start. As a party, we do have grievances against the police and the ECZ but we do resolve them through established channels. We perceive generally the situation as sufficiently free and fair to deliver a free and fair election.”
He said President Edgar Lungu had put Zambia’s sustained peace at the centre of his decision to deploy the military on the streets.
“Any action meant to enhance peace and security is welcome. I think that the mandate of the Army is to protect the country from any internal and external threats to the peace and stability in the country. So if the Army has been deployed in that context, we welcome that and that is not a statement to assume that the Police has failed. I think that the President, in his judgment is to beef up security so that the police do carry out their mandate with sufficient cover, that there is no disturbance because they are overwhelmed. The Army is not doing anything outside the constitutional mandate. Their constitutional mandate is to ensure peace and stability of the country from any threats,” Chanda said.
“Some of the misrepresentation that has occurred in the foreign media and the unfair advantage that is being attributed to the Patriotic Front. The PF understands that democracy exists on durable peace and stability of the country. This is why we support the decision of the President to enhance security during now and after elections so that an atmosphere is created in order. For any sensible electoral process to succeed, there ought to be peace and stability. In the absence of peace and stability you cannot talk about credible elections. So the PF is fully in support of the executive decisions to ensure peace and stability. We wanted to clarify that because we have seen it in international media where it is being alleged that there is unfair advantage to the ruling party. Those who do not want peace and stability, what do they want as an alternative? Is it anarchy? You must understand that the President who is democratically elected has the mandate to ensure protection of life and property is paramount duty. Those of our foreign media who have anything to discuss, we are readily available because we want to ensure that nothing is done to misrepresent us. The government being represented by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting services is also at your disposal for any queries.”
Meanwhile, Chanda said PF was not averse to foreign observers.
“We have the EU delegation which has been accredited correctly and is in the country to observe the elections. The PF has never objected to the presence of foreign observers because when you have nothing to hide, you will not hide from those who are providing checks and balances. The foreign observers operate within a defined arrangement and they are accredited with the ECZ. Speaking on behalf of the PF, I think there is nothing absolutely wrong with foreign observers coming in. In fact, we note with satisfaction that they are going wherever they want to go unhindered. I think we would like to commend the PF government for allowing that free atmosphere and mobility to election observers who I understand they have gone to every part of the country. There is no restraint and I understand that if there has been any deviant comment from the party, those are not official comments. The official comment is that foreign observers are in the country and in large numbers,” said Chanda.