Lawyer Sakwiba Sikota
Lawyer Sakwiba Sikota

By Sakwiba Sikota

The nomination date for the Presidential elections has been set for sixth June 2016. The excitement levels amongst political parties is starting to heat up. Soon we will be separating the women from the girls.

Some politicians have been heard complaining that the requirement to have one thousand registered voters for a presidential candidate to successfully get themselves on the ballot box, is oppressive and makes it hard for some people to contest the election.
One wonders why a person who cannot get a hundred voters from each of the ten provinces should be allowed to run in the first place. This is not a particularly difficult hurdle for any serious political presidential aspirant.

I remember in 1996 we had someone stand on the Movement for Democratic Process Party ticket for Republican President. There was drama at the High Court as President Chama Chakomboka of the Movement for Democratic Process turned up with a handful of supporters and failed to raise the then requirement of two hundred registered voters to support his nomination. Cool as you like President Chakomboka said the hiccup that morning was due to the transporter he had arranged letting him down.

It is said that in order to humor him and the nation at large, Late President Frederic Jacob Titus Chiluba allowed some MMD members to go on an afternoon “loan spell” to the Movement for Democratic Process.

The Zambian voters showed they had a sharp sense of humour by giving Chakomboka votes and making him come in with a respectable 41,471 votes which is more than some presidential aspirants in the 2015 polls managed to garner. Imagine having the distinction of having been bested by an aspirant who managed to get on the ballot paper due to “borrowed” supporters!

Last year in 2015 we saw quite a number of candidates struggle to meet the requirement of two hundred registered voters. It is these strugglers who are sweating the “little ones” over the one thousand supporters watermark.

It is not just in Zambia where there are such requirements for ones name to appear on the ballot box.

Recently in the United States of America for a mere political primary race for the State of Ohio’s primary ballot, not the main event slated for the second Tuesday of November, a Democratic Party candidate by the name of Martin O’Malley failed to secure the support of the required one thousand registered voters in Ohio. The population of Ohio is eleven million people as of 2010, with a very slow growth rate, and this makes it comparable to Zambia’s population which is now estimated at fifteen million people.

Would be candidate Martin O’Malley, the American version of our very own Chama Chakomboka, did not get the good fortune of the humor of FJT as neither Bernie Saunders nor Hilary Clinton felt like showing Chiluban largesse towards Martin O’Malley who consequently did not get his name onto the ballot paper.

This was just as well as it was clear that O’Malley was just a time waster who would unnecessarily run up the administrative costs of holding the primary polls. O’Malley needed 1,000 valid signatures to appear on the 15 March primary ballot. The former Maryland governor’s campaign submitted 1,175 signatures, but only 772 were deemed valid.
What is your reason for running for the highest office in the land? You need to give at least one thousand reasons to run.

One thousand voters is surely a low watermark. If you find it’s too hot in the kitchen, get out of the kitchen and go to the beach or something for a swim. However, If low tide scares you, don’t dare venture onto the beach during high tide.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Sikota, what about yourself and your one man ULP? How is your party faring on the Zambian political scene? You’re good at talking about others while leaving yourself in the equation. Do you have one thousand supporters??

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    • Interesting to read. True let these funny presidential candidates get serious. though 1000 people ill cause confusion? Knowing PF, Cadres they might want to go attack UPND and other Opposition parties.

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  2. Chakomboka stood and got some votes, muliokela went as far as the Supreme courts steps to see the chief justice so that he can fill in his presidential nomination, what has sakwiba ever done since he formed his party?

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  3. Surely Sikota is giving a good example by going to the beach where it is cool with his U.L.P party. Is this ULP still registered or not. If it is why not de register. This man is politically finished and the best he can do is to endorse. Just continue being in court defending criminals.

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  4. There we go again……Zambian style….instead of commenting on the topic at hand, as usual we stray into some unconnected topics which have no relevance to what Sikota is saying. He is simply saying if you cant garner 1000 registered voters and you have no business aspiring for the highest office in the land of Zombies.

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  5. …what exactly is Sikota trying to drive at..??..this topic was exhausted the time it was first announced….can he write on something which is current please…this is a boring piece of an article…is he trying to tell us that he is a keen follower of American politics…??..which has no relevance to Zambian scene…rubish

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  6. PM – We are just telling the truth. This man is a politician and has a political party which has never participated at presidential level. Where doe he get the guts to go at Chama Chakomboka who even tried to go the nomination centre.
    Has he done that himself even once (going for nominations)? To be a wise person like what you want to portray him, he should have used his own political as an example which has always found the cool at the beach. That is what we are telling him. Tell me what is wrong in saying this.

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  7. PM – We are just telling the truth. This man is a politician and has a political party which has never participated at presidential level. Where doe he get the guts to go at Chama Chakomboka who even tried to go the nomination centre.
    Has he done that himself even once (going for nominations)? To be a wise person like what you want to portray him, he should have used his own political party as an example which party has always found the cool at the beach. That is what we are telling him. Tell me what is wrong in saying this.
    Reply

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    • Exactly the point. May be he has always failed to raise 1000 registered voters to support his presidential ambitions….if ever he had such. However the fact that he has never contested any presidential election does not bar him from commenting on any political topic. I think he has wealth of knowledge and people must take note when he speaks. Remember most good people have failed in politics because they can lie. PF lied its way to victory through 90 day promise of heaven on earth. The greatest tragedy in Africa is that over 90% of the voters are illiterate and easily manipulated by lying politicians, so once in a while its refreshing to hear from knowledgeable people.

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  8. This biggotted bastard cant shut his smelly mouth up – ID.IOT. No one listens and wants him in Zambia any more!!

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  9. Comment:I think the state counsel is talking 2 an audience that understands satirical laguage.
    That said the lagislative mark of garnering 1000 suporters 4 one 2 stand as president is somehow not biased.I say so bcz i blv in every competition there must b rules to govern that particular sport 2 make it competetive and attractive in some sense.If the let it 2 b zambia open even kabovas will venture 2 go to the beach when the tides are high bcz of being under the influence of marijuana.

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  10. I see vehement and vitriolic comments from those who either do not possess a Grade 12 qualification or fail to raise anywhere near the 1000 supporters prescribed. Look, for posterity, we must stand firm on the requirements that the people themselves have by majority expression written into the current amendments. The idea is now about EQUITY and not necessarily EQUALITY. Well written, Mr Sikota, well written.

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  11. I totally agree with Sikota but I only have three questions for him:

    1. Can he update us about his presidential ambition?
    2. Can he update us about his political career?
    3. Can he write an article about presidents of political parties that do not contest elections but are always in the habit of endorsing other presidential candidates?

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  12. This is a no-brainer. I have got a hunch this is Sakwiba Sikota’s coded message to these small Parties. I reckon he foresees them knocking at his door, or maybe they have already, asking him to contest the ’thousand registered voters’ requirement case to court for them. So, as an intelligent lawyer, he is simply saying ‘No thanks’ publicly.

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  13. @chilyata why sound like one dead sadist already? what has mr sikota done to you that you should spill out all those insults? this is just a simple, humouros and non partisan article that’s highly undeserving of your undesirable language. And who told you this country does not need the man? pliz (for whatever party you support) stop sounding suicidal even before the vote is cast

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  14. If you’re going to talk about the US elections at least get your facts right. It undercuts your entire argument when you get so many things wrong. Ohio has not had its primary yet. That was Iowa (population 3M) and it was a caucus, not a primary. Hillary Clinton won Iowa. How many votes did she secure in her victory? 701. The Democratic and Republican voting, for the Iowa caucus, is different. Caucuses are arcane and a bit unusual.

    Next time, please check your so-called facts. You put forward so much misinformation it muddied whatever you were trying to communicate.

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    • “..O’Malley who consequently did not get his name onto the ballot paper..”
      You have to be on the ballot to be voted!
      Comprende!?
      Next time, please check your so-called facts..blah, blah, blah..!

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  15. Saki writes satire and the thick brained Zambians can’t even realize or understand him. They are engaging him on a serious level. Apparently these are the ‘intellectuals’ the country has to offer, with access to the internet. Scary stuff, isn’t it? It’s no wonder the country is stagnant and moving backwards.

    Can’t you see Saki is ridiculing political pretenders and wannabes, including himself. He’s no different from Roy Kalaki, except he doesn’t call people ‘Muwelewele’. Either laugh or walk away grumpy without saying anything.

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  17. Very articulate article. People should read such analyze them to have a more broad and balanced opinion on issues.

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