Some irate UPND cadres Sunday morning impounded two trucks from a South African transport firm which they suspected was carrying pre-marked ballot papers sneaked in via Chirundu border.
The cadres calling themselves UPND Anti Rigging Squad intercepted the truck in Kafue after the check point and trailed it into Lusaka and managed to impound it and took it to Lusaka Central Police Station.
The party officials were alerted about the trucks by ZRA officials who
suspected foul play because the trucks did not go through the border
scanning process in Chirundu on grounds that they had a special
delivery for the ECZ.
At the police station, the cadres demanded that the truck be opened up and its contents be verified in their presence.
UPND officials who besieged the Lusaka Central police had vowed
not to leave the station until ECZ and the police conducted a search
to establish what was on the trucks.
The police officers however decided to have the truck be driven to ECZ Headquarters at Elections House.
The trucks, belonging to African Cargo Management, registrations
numbers FKB 685FS and FKB711FS and BJ45GP and WPM 258 GP, were guided
by the police to Lusaka Central police and later to ECZ offices where
they were inspected
At Elections House, the sealed boxes marked ECZ were opened up in the presence of the media, UPND cadres and other stakeholders.
It emerged that the trucks were carrying chairs, tables, torches and batteries to be used during elections.
And ECZ Spokesperson who was visibly upset by the development told Journalists that election stakeholders should desist from alarming the public.
ECZ public relations manager Cris Akufuna has since warned political
parties and other stakeholders not to raise unnecessary alarm over
unfounded allegations. Mr Akufuna said political parties should leave
the Commission to do its work in peace.
Mr Akufuna observed that this is not the first time the ECZ was being accused of rigging but that no one has ever proved the allegations.
UPND deputy spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo later told journalists that
his party was happy that the Police Command, ECZ and ZRA officials had
afforded them an opportunity to verify the allegations because it was
the duty of every responsible leader to be vigilant about such
Mr Lifwekelo said UPND anti-rigging squad in Chirundu was suspicious
about the materials in the three trucks that were said to have entered
through the Chirundu border at about 15:30 hours yesterday because
they did not go through the routine scanning.
Mr Lifwekelo said although UPND had confidence in ECZ, there was
nothing wrong with the party supporters being vigilant to ensure a
free and transparency election.