CHIEF Government Spokesperson Chushi Kasanda says assertions from some opposition political parties and interest groups that the Kabwata Parliamentary by-election cancellation was induced by government are malicious and unfounded.
And Kasanda says government supports public calls to revisit Article 52 (6) adding that it does not in any way add value to the democratic process and financial prudence.
In a statement, Tuesday, Kasanda noted that the inconvenience which the resignation caused on the Electoral Commission of Zambia, contestants and other stakeholders was enormous.
“Government sympathises with political stakeholders in the Kabwata parliamentary by-election following the cancellation of the by-election which was scheduled for 20th January, 2022. The inconvenience this has caused on ECZ, contestants and other stakeholders is enormous and understandable. I, however, wish to state that assertions from some opposition political parties and interest groups that the cancellation of the Kabwata Parliamentary by-election by ECZ was induced by the Government is malicious and unfounded,” read the statement.
“The ECZ made it very clear that the withdrawal of the United Progressive Party (UPP) Kabwata Parliamentary by-election candidate, Mr Francis Libanda, had invoked the provisions of Article 52(6) of the Constitution of Zambia. This compelled the ECZ to cancel the Kabwata Parliamentary by-election and call for new nominations on dates they will advise.”
She advised those that intended to contest for public office to take the responsibility seriously as it was about public service and public resources.
“In as much as it is an individual’s constitutional right to participate in an election or withdraw from doing so, government would like to urge those intending to contest for public office to take the responsibility seriously as this is about the public service and public resources. As Government, we support public calls to revisit Article 52 (6) as we believe it does not in any way add value to our democratic process and financial prudence,” stated Kasanda.
“The nation will recall that in his speech to the First Session of the 13th National Assembly on September 10, 2021, His Excellency the President made it very clear that he does not support by-elections as they divert national resources and focus from more pertinent issues such as addressing poverty, health and education. That position has not changed.”