FORMER Archbishop of Lusaka Telesphore Mpundu says PF’s acrimonious stance against foreign observers is rubbish.
And Archbishop Mpundu says Zambia is primitive when it comes to democracy as state institutions are loyal to the President instead of the constitution.
In an interview, Archbishop Mpundu said all PF wanted was to rig the elections.
“It is all rubbish. What the PF wants is to rig the elections, that is all. Anyone who comes around, even opposition political party members have not been included but they have been excluded from monitoring. So all they want is to rig the elections. They have taken every step they want and they are trying to use every trick in the book in order to rig the elections and everybody knows. So when they are saying foreign observers and diplomats are interfering, what do they go to do when they go to monitor elections in the SADC region? Is that interfering? They do that to make sure there is transparency and a voting process that is credible and transparent. They want an electoral process that is credible,” Archbishop Mpundu said.
“So it is in my opinion just rubbish. They just want to do things the way they want. What about all these internet disconnections? You mean people do not know how to read computers and have their own codes so that they are getting the correct figures from wherever they are? It is all a pure and shameless lie. They just want to rig elections and so they start talking about interfering but interfering where? We the citizens warned them and that is that. It is not about the government but the citizens who want free, fair and credible elections.”
Archbishop Mpundu said it was critical for election observers to come out in the open and tell Zambians their findings regarding the entire electoral process.
“Without international observers, we cannot have it (credible elections). Already, international observers, previously, they have disappointed us because they kept quiet after they saw what was going wrong. This around, we want them to come out in the open and say ‘things were not correct. It is a pure lie’. It is a way of trying to keep out people so that they do not know what is going on but people know what is going on and that is why they want support from outside. The African Union is important. International observers are needed. Whatever the PF says to the contrary is wrong and shameless. It is just a shameless way of hiding. What are they hiding if they are transparent? They should be there for everyone to see,” he said.
And Archbishop Mpundu said state institutions like the Zambia Police were not meant to align with the President, arguing that it was a crooked way of doing things.
“We have civil servants including teachers, they are all being skewed to rig the elections because they have been promised promotions and more money. It is happening so that is it. We have to have people who have been appointed by the Electoral Commission of Zambia who come from all sections of the community so that there is transparency. As it is, they want to hide everything and they do not want anyone to tell them that ‘this is not correct’ so it is always like that. They will not have it all and they should not have it all,” said Archbishop Mpundu.
“Transparency, accountability and credible elections are what we want. So the police and the Army should have allegiance to the constitution and not to the President. They are not meant to have allegiance to the President, that is a crooked way of doing things. It is a primitive way. Zambia is very primitive when it comes to democracy. Allegiance should not be to the President but to the constitution and the law.”