The opposition UPND has called on the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to stop the ongoing countrywide registration of voters until the issuance of National Registration Card (NRC) is completed.
UPND Deputy Spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo has since petitioned Electoral Commission of Zambia Chairperson Justice Esau Chulu to consider putting on hold the registration of voters until the issuance of NRC’S is complete in all designated areas.
Mr Lifwekelo said the issuance of National Registration Cards being supervised by Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila was to greater extent a sham especially in areas perceived to be opposition strong holds.
“We can only assume maybe it’s because the Minister responsible Davies Mwila is a PF cadre and would like to disadvantage the opposition. We wish to serve a warning that UPND with other political parties and stakeholders will not take kindly to this ploy and will not hesitate to seek a court order restraining ECZ from proceeding with the registration of voters if Issuance of NRCs in other provinces is not abandoned for now,” Mr Lifwekelo warned.
He said Government is fully aware that a lot of first time voters especially the youths are eager to obtain NRC’s and subsequently register as voters.
“This is their democratic right which they must exercise without fear or favour,” Mr Lifwekelo observed.
And Mr Lifwekelo has urged UPND members that they are free to wear party barrettes which form part of the party uniform, explaining that the directive by the Patriotic Front (PF) leadership to ban the use of barrettes was purely an internal matter and police should stop misleading the public by claiming that barrettes have been banned.
“The PF directive was very clear, that they had been infiltrated by criminal elements within their file and ranks who were using PF barrettes to rob people hence the ban. Our uniform has a UPND symbol embedded on them and police can easily identify our members. Otherwise police must stop intimidating our members who have nothing to do with criminals that have infiltrated PF.”