THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says there is nothing sinister about the by-elections not being held for the Kabulonga ward Local Government seat, which was held by State House Deputy Minister Mulenga Sata (below) before his appointment by President Lungu.
ECZ spokesperson Cris Akufuna said in an interview yesterday that the commission has not kept quiet on the Kabulonga ward seat as reported in some sections of the media.
“The commission can only call for a by-election after being informed of the vacancy by the Speaker of National Assembly in the case of a parliamentary seat and town clerk in ward elections,” he said.
Mr Akufuna said the Kabulonga ward seat is not vacant as far as ECZ is concerned and will only proceed to conduct elections after receiving notification of its vacancy by the town clerk.
“We know from the media that the seat is vacant but we cannot call for a by-election basing on media reports. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the stakeholders and the electoral officer who is the town clerk to inform ECZ,” he said.
Mr Akufuna said ECZ always follows procedure in conducting elections and that in this case, the Kabulonga ward by-election can only be called after notification of its vacancy is issued by the town clerk
He was reacting to concerns by the UPND that the ECZ has remained silent over the local government seat held by Mr Sata before he was nominated to Parliament.