Opposition Alliance for Change leader Andyford Banda this morning failed to file in his nomination papers for the August elections after his running mate Patrick Bowa failed to show up.
Mr Banda who arrived at the nomination Centre at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka with a handful of his supporters discovered that his running mate, Mr Bowa was nowhere near the venue.
Efforts to contact him revealed that he had decided to pull out.
Mr Banda had a tough time convincing ECZ officials to allow him up to Tuesday to find a replacement.
But Assistant returning officer Chomba Chellah explained to Mr Banda that the Commission cannot extend the nomination period beyond what is provided by law.
Mr Chellah stated that the Government Gazette has prescribed the period for receiving nomination papers and that extending to Tuesday would fall outside the gazetted period.
He allowed gave Mr Banda up to 15 Hours today to find an alternative and present his papers before the ECZ.
“Please go and put your house in order, we are giving you up to 15 Hours today to come back with an alternative. We cannot extend the nominations until Tuesday as that would be illegal,” Mr Chellah said.
And Mr Banda told Journalists outside the nomination Centre that he does not understand why Mr Bowa decided not to show up.
He said he has been working with Mr Bowa as his potential running mate for over four months and there was no sign that he would back down.
Mr Banda suggested that Mr Bowa could have been intimidated by some state agents forging him to pull out.
“He is such a distinguished gentleman and I don’t understand why he has done this. I mean, he has held very senipr roles including that of assistant Commission at ZRA but I am not so sure weather he was intimidated, he said