ACTING PF national chairperson Davies Chama says the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s decision to change its logo was a waste of public resources.
In an interview, Monday, Chama said logo change did not automatically translate into more transparent elections.
“Changing the logo, does it change anything really? It is just changing their cost structure because changing the logo goes with changing the whole stationery they use. For me just changing the logo for the sake of changing the logo is not necessary. It just enhances the cost to the Electoral Commission of Zambia. We are in difficult times where resources are hard to come by, just changing the logo in itself is not necessary. What is wrong with the logo anyway? Does it enhance transparency in terms of conduct of elections? The answer is no! It just increases the cost of doing business because they need to change a lot of printing materials, is it really necessary? I don’t understand why we waste so much time on things that are not important,” he said.
“Maybe for them it is important to change the logo. If I was to advise them really it is not necessary. If they had put it to a debate to ask stakeholders we would have told them it is not necessary. But maybe they are now under the new dawn, the new dawn said they are broke, they don’t have money, they found an empty treasury but now these institutions are now increasing the cost of doing business.”
He said the Commission should have been focusing on cleaning up the electoral system.
“There are a lot of complaints in terms of violence which has always been a thorny issue in elections. Those are the things they should be focusing on, instead of focusing on changing the logo. There are a lot of issues they are supposed to focus themselves on to make sure that they clean up the electoral system in the country not changing the logo. For me, if they were under my office I would tell them ‘please focus on things that really matter than the logo’, it is totally unnecessary,” Chama said.
“When we were in government we debated a lot of these issues, institutions will always come, they want to change the logos and we will put them on the spot. ‘Can you justify why you are changing, why are you changing the logo’? ‘You want to change all your stationery? Where are you going to get the money? What are the cost implications? Do you have the money’? Because you have to go to the Ministry of Finance, because our roads are deteriorating, there is no maintenance on the roads, and a lot of things are deteriorating. This new dawn is not even building anything.”
Chama said changing the logo was a misplaced priority.
“I think we have our priorities misplaced, we have a lot of misplaced priorities. The people who are supervising them are supposed to make sure that they control and manage some of these decisions that are being taken by these institutions. They do not even generate anything, they are just a cost centre. We need to rationalize our resources as a country, that is why there is much wastage of resources by some of these decisions that have financial implications. For me changing a logo for the sake of changing a logo is totally unnecessary. But the new dawn, obviously someone has approved and maybe they want to do things differently by changing all the logos, even the Coat of Arms maybe they will change it. They will design another Coat of Arms. This country you can laugh but it is sad, things that we waste our time and focus on are things that are inconsequential,” said Chama.