GOVERNANCE activist Brebner Changala says Zambians have now woken up from the slumber due to the torturous seven years under the PF, hence the high voter turnout.
In an interview, Changala said the last time he experienced such kind of high voter turnout was in 1991 when Zambia drifted from a one-party state to a constitutional democracy.
“I have been voting for a while. The first time I saw this kind of civic responsibility response from the people of Zambia was in 1991 when Zambia was drifting from a one-party state to constitutional democracy in which UNIP and Dr Kaunda lost the election. That election when you go back to our history books was an election where people slept in the queue but that was not enough. That was an election that saw the time barrier being adjusted from 6 AM to beyond 6 PM. The UNIP administration was aware of the revolution and they extended the time to accommodate everybody. The results that came out were very shocking. Fredrick Chiluba won the Presidency with 78 percent of the total votes cast. Fast forward, we have never experienced this voter turnout. What we have experienced in all elections is voter apathy which was becoming entrenched. People have woken up from the slumber due to the seven years of torturous PF administration,” he said.
“People are voting against harsh economic conditions, the brutality from cadres who have taken over the administration of this country in all spheres. We are voting against police brutality and political insolence spearheaded by the head of state who has not been inspiring throughout his administration. This is a vote against corruption where all PF-aligned citizens, Ministers, MP’s, cadres are living beyond their means. This is a vote against impunity and abuse of power where people are detained without any reasonable cause. This is a vote against the threat to the fourth estate, the media fraternity which has been harassed, targeted, to some extent even closed. This is a reclaim by the people of Zambia for their rights, civil liberties and their constitutional rights.”
And Changala said he was confident that a new administration would be ushered in.
“We have reached a stage where the PF does not respect constitutionalism. They have created a parallel authority that is outside the constitution. This is a vote against the constitutional court which allowed Edgar Lungu to go for the third term. The constitutional court judges know very well that the history of Zambian has demanded for a two-term President. Anybody who has been sworn in twice should not appear on the ballot for the third time. The state of affairs is that all institutions of governance have collapsed and the constitutional court went out of its way and gave Edgar Lungu a mandate,” said Changala.
“Most importantly, this is a vote against the collapsed health sector where there are no doctors, nurses, no medicines and prescriptions have become part of health strategy. Expired medicines were also brought on board. There have been many challenges but Zambians have woken up and they have gone to use the only weapon they have and that is the voter’s card. And out of that voter’s card, they shall determine the future of this country from tomorrow (Friday) when the results start flowing in. We shall have a new government and that I am very sure. A new administration and the current head of state will be retired in national interest.”