The Zambian Voice
Press Statement on The 2016 General Elections
18th August, 2016
We would like to commend the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for the job well done. ECZ prepared for the 11th August general election and the referendum very well.
Most of all, we are happy that ECZ were very transparent every step of the way and the involved all stakeholders.
ECZ were also very patient and tolerant to all the views and concerns expressed by all stakeholders especially political parties.
During the day of elections, ECZ conducted the elections very efficiently such that most polling stations opened and closed at the right time after serving the electorates that turned up to vote.
The management of results was also very transparent because all political parties were allowed to verify the figures before they were finally announced.
We would also like to commend the police for securely the Country as a whole and all the electoral process, such that citizens voted peacefully.
As Zambian Voice we participated in the preparation of elections and monitored the voting and the announcement of results.
We are glad to state that the elections were transparent, free and fair according to our constitution and the international standards for holding a credible and democratic election.
We therefore commend all Zambians and all those who participated in this election.
While we affirm that the last elections were transparent, free and fair, we recognize that, there were a few incidences that did not go according to the expectations of the ECZ and other stakeholders, however, we believe that those incidences could not change the outcome of this election.
It is normal to have a few hiccups in a huge process such as the just ended elections because it involves a lot of activities and individuals with different character and motives.
Therefore, it is unreasonable for anyone to over emphasize the few negatives of the last election and discredit the all process.
What is of more concern is that, there have been people who have been antagonist and discrediting the process right from the beginning.
Some stakeholders have been speculative of almost everything relating to the elections.
During the registration of voters, some stakeholders alarmed the nation that ECZ had registered 500, 000 voters with a view to rig the 2016 elections. This speculation ended up with some members of a named political party being in court charged with criminal offenses relating to the same rumors.
The printing of ballot papers was also a subject of speculation and suspicion. However, all the stakeholders who witnessed the printing of ballot papers in Dubai proved that, there was nothing sinister in the awarding of the tender and the printing of ballot papers.
ECZ was put under pressure during the distribution of electoral material throughout the Country as the same stakeholders intercepted trucks carrying ECZ material.
During voting, eminent lawyers rose on point of order alleging that some people were voting more than once (6 times) but no one was proven to have had voted 6 times.
The issue of verifying of results was also a tedious task for the ECZ because some political parties did not have representatives in some polling stations and yet they were querying the results transmitted.
In other instances, some political representatives were dodging the signing of the GEN12 (primary source document of the ECZ to enter results) if their candidate did not do well.
Some political representatives were also communicating different results, other than what they had signed for, to their superiors at Mulungushi were the final verification was being done before the announcement.
These incidences caused the delay in announcing of results and the discrediting of the process by some political parties.
PETITIONING OF RESULTS
It is within the rights of any stakeholder to petition the results following the legal processes. However, we are concern with the provocative and inciting statements coming from the opposition, especially the United Party for National Development (UPND).
We have noticed with dismay the some statements coming from the UPND leadership.
While President Lungu has been preaching peace and unity, the UPND leadership is issuing provocative and inciting statements, stating that the Patriotic Front (PF) have stolen their vote and urging their members not to accept the results but rather take President Hakainde Hichilema and his running mate as the winners of the just ended 2016 elections.
This is very unfortunate and we would like to urge the UPND to refrain from issuing such statement but rather take their petition to the Constitutional court in dignity without being their own judges.
We also wish to urge the Constitutional Judges to exercise the ultimate wisdom as they consider the evidence and the situation in the Country so that they can pass a ruling that will reflect the will of the majority as expressed in the last election as soon as they analyse all facts when should the petition be launched.
It is unfair to the majority Zambians that, a few people would hold the Country at ransom that, unless they get the power then that is when there will be peace and unity.
Democracy should not only be accepted when things favors the individual interests and ambitions but the majority.
The Zambian Voice