Chief government spokesperson Joseph Katema has dismissed the Electoral commission of Zambia’s statement in which the ECZ strongly condemned ZANIS for disregarding the ECZ instructions not to mount their public address equipment during PF President Edgar Lungu’s filing in of nominations yesterday.
ECZ Public Relations Manager Chris Akufuna has told Journalists in Lusaka today that the fact that Acting Republican President Guy Scott was part of the PF delegation does not mean ZANIS should use the equipment.Mr. Akufuna said that the move by ZANIS to mount public address equipment at the Supreme Court grounds yesterday gave the PF advantage over other candidates.He said that ZANIS should have provided the same service to all political parties and not just do it for the ruling party.
However Chief government spokesperson Joseph Katema said ZANIS acted in accordance with its mandate of providing communication support to Government officials, at no cost, and acted within the law.He said the Acting President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr. Guy Scott, was in the delegation of the presidential candidate, Hon. Lungu and as such ZANIS was obliged to provide the services that were provided.
Before reconciling with Edgar Lungu, Acting President Guy Scott in a letter to the media pledged not allow abuse of public resources for partisan interests.
Below is the PF Governments press statement
Government would like to correct the impression created that the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) favoured the Patriotic Front presidential candidate, Hon. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, MP, when they provided public address system during the filing of his nomination papers on Saturday, 20th December, 2014.
Government notes with concern the statement issued by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) alleging that ZANIS should not have provided the public address system to Hon. Lungu because they did not do so to the other candidates.
I wish to place it on record that ZANIS acted in accordance with its mandate of providing communication support to Government officials, at no cost, and acted within the law.
You may wish to note that His Excellency the Acting President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr. Guy Scott, was in the delegation of the presidential candidate, Hon. Lungu and as such ZANIS was obliged to provide the services that were provided.
The Electoral (Code of Conduct) Regulations of 2011, Statutory Instrument No. 52 of 2011, authorizes a person serving as President or Vice President to use such facilities in connection with their respective offices.
The assertion that ZANIS disadvantaged other candidates by providing the Public Address System is unfortunate. ZANIS is expected to provide its facilities to any meeting, which His Excellency the Acting President Dr. Guy Scott is expected to attend.
Hon. Dr. Joseph Katema, MP
MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES AND CHIEF GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON
22nd December 2014