VICE President Inonge Wina must withdraw her allegations that the United Party for National Development (UPND) might be an agent of some South African printing companies because the statement has the potential to heighten political tension in the country, Edward Mumbi has demanded.
Mr Mumbi who is UPND presidential spokesperson has also demanded that Vice President Wina apologises to the South African printing companies in that country which bid to print Zambia’s ballot papers for the 11th August general elections for alleging that they had engaged the opposition political party as their agent in Zambia.
He charged that the statement by the Vice President suggested that they could have been manipulating the country’s electoral process.
Mr Mumbi said the printing of ballot papers for the August general elections was a sensitive and highly emotive issue and therefore, it was important for Mrs Wina to desist from issuing statements that had the potential to inflame the emotions of citizens.
He recalled that the Vice President was once a member of the UPND and that she had once travelled to South Africa with Mr Mumbi who at the time was the secretary general of the Patriotic Front (PF) to inspect the facilities of the company that had over the years been printing the country’s ballot papers.
Mr Mumbi said Mrs Wina knew the credibility of the South African Company so well. He pointed out that the company had been printing Zambia’s ballot papers for a long time. In fact, it was the same company that printed the ballot papers which saw the PF win the general elections.
He was reacting to Vice President Wina’s assertion that the insistence by the UPND to have ballot papers printed by South African companies could mean that the opposition party might be an agent of the companies.
“If the PF is not involved in the selection of a company to print the ballot papers for the August general elections, why would the Vice President defend and speak on behalf of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ)? Zambia has always printed its ballot papers in South Africa and the printing companies in that country have created serious business relationship with the Zambian Government and it is not correct for the Vice President Mrs Wina to insinuate that the printing companies have engaged the UPND as its agent in Zambia. She must therefore, withdraw her allegations and apologise to the South African companies because such a statement has the potential to heighten political tension in the country,” Mr Mumbi said.
Mr Mumbi said the company the ECZ had abandoned had been handling the printing of Zambia’s ballot papers for most of the country’s elections including the 2011 general elections that ushered the PF into Government and the 2015 presidential election that saw President Edgar Lungu emerge victorious.
He advised Mrs Wina should endeavour to govern the country in a manner that must be able to promote peace and unity in the country and that as a female leader; she ought not to be seen to fan acrimony in the country.