FORMER Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Sketchley Sacika says he fears that the outcome of the election will not reflect the true political dynamics in the country.
And Dr Sacika says he is concerned that people may actually vote based on political songs as they have received little information on what contesting candidates are offering.
In an interview, Dr Sacika said this was an opportunity for people to make the right choice and not to be influenced by political propaganda.
“The way people will turn up to vote is not on the basis of messages from various contenders from political parties, but they will vote on basis of political songs and political propaganda. That is unfortunate. If you go into the polling booth you need to vote for the message. People should be given information to evaluate the various political party candidates vying for office. This election, all we have heard [are] political songs, political propaganda and this is really unfortunate,” he said.
“So people taking part in the elections essentially have received very little information on what the contesting candidates are offering. So they will be voting on all those songs, ‘alebwelelapo’ and all that nonsense. Now that is my concern that on the whole election, the outcome of the election will not reflect the true political dynamics in our country, so that is my fear. However, this is an opportunity for people to turn out to vote but not as they have been influenced by propaganda and everything.”
And Dr Sacika said the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) had failed to be impartial and create a level playing field for all contesting political parties.
“It actually has affected how voters will make their decision. In a democracy, elections should be a celebration but our elections tomorrow have been something of a nightmare characterized by violence, abuse of state institutions by the political party in power and failure by the ECZ to assert its authority to create a level playing field in order to deliver a free and fair election. Instead of being impartial, the ECZ, unfortunately, has behaved as though it is a department in the President’s office, micro-managed by the political party in power to disadvantage other political players. As a result, the ECZ has failed to deliver a fair election,” said Dr Sacika.