Non- Governmental Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) Executive Director Engwase Mwale says the outcome of the Referendum vote was encoded.
On August 19, 2016 Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chairperson Justice Essau Chulu announced at a press conference that the referendum vote had failed to meet the first 50 per cent threshold.
Justice Chulu revealed that estimates of eligible voters were 7,528,091 and the minimum threshold was 3,764,046.
He also said out of the estimates, only 3, 345, 471 voted and from that figure 1, 853, 559 voted in favour of the referendum while 753, 549 voted against it with 739, 363 rejected votes.
Ms. Mwale was speaking with Pan African Radio Journalist Hermit Hachilonde today on a programme dubbed “AFRICAN NEWS ROUND UP” that there was less time for meaningful sensitization and awareness to be carried out by stakeholders on the referendum question countrywide.
She echoed sentiments by a radio caller identified as Victor Jere that the referendum was highly politicized and it was bad timing to conduct it alongside the general elections on 11th August 2016.
“The referendum results was predetermined and it was a wrong timing for any meaningful and awareness raising to be conducted throughout the country” She said
Meanwhile, media critique Mark Simuwe who is also an analyst on African News Round Up Current Affairs Programme that is aired live every Sunday from 10:00 hours to 11:00 hours anchored by Hermit Hachilonde accused the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) of disastrously presiding over the electoral system in the just ended General elections and the referendum.
Simuwe noted that the ECZ in its operation appeared not to be geared to conduct elections in Zambia, adding that the electoral body misinterpreted the law on many issues that emerged during the election period.
“The ECZ conducted the just ended elections in a disastrous manner” he said