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Alba Iulia
Monday, August 10, 2020

2021 Elections May be Devoid of Integrity and Credibility going by the behaviour of the Electoral Commission of Zambia

General News 2021 Elections May be Devoid of Integrity and Credibility going...

Zitukule Consortium is concerned that the 2021 general elections may be devoid of electoral integrity and credibility going by the behaviour of the Electoral Commission of Zambia and some stakeholders.

Earlier this year, the ECZ unilaterally decided to cancel the practice of independent observation of the printing of ballot papers for the 2021 general elections by political parties and civil society.

Organisation Executive Director Nicholas Phiri says while the Commission argued that it was unable to meet the cost for supporting an observation mission, the practice remains a vital and integral ingredient for confidence building in the electoral management process in Zambia, where the integrity of the electoral body is questionable.

Mr Phiri says several stakeholders have requested the ECZ to reconsider its stance on this matter, however, Interestingly, ECZ has stuck its own wisdom.

He has questioned in whose interest the ECZ working and whether the Commission considered the cost of civil strife resulting from disputed election results.

Secondly, Mr Phiri said the ECZ has also maintained, against stakeholder’s advice, that voter registration will be for 30 days only when the previous voter register had more than 6.7 million voters.

He said the ECZ is reportedly targeting to capture 9 million new voters for the 2021 voter register, all this in 30days which translates into 300,000 voters in 8 hours per day or 37 500 voters per hour or 625 voters per minute, assuming that there is no breakdown in the registration system at any given point in the said 30 days.

“Is this a joke or comedy? ECZ must be clear on this matter. Are they talking about a new voter roll or its an upgrade of the exiting voter role in which case the Commission would be looking for about 3 million new voters or less?
Thirdly, the continued unguarded pronouncements from government officials including Ministers and the Head of State creates doubt about the credibility of our electoral and governance systems”, said Mr Phiri.

He has noted that Minister of Defense Mr. Davis Chama suggests that invoking constitutional provision as provided in article 52 to challenge the eligibility of President Lungu would result into civil unrest and has questioned how a lawful act can precipitate an unlawful act.

“What message is minister Mwila giving to the men and women in uniform under his charge? In the same vain, its not long ago when the President stated in no uncertain terms that he would not give up power even if citizens voted him out of office. Isn’t this treasonous and therefore unlawful? Is the system daring or testing citizens tolerance levels? Are these statements coincidental and from without?”, he added.

Mr Phiri said in view of the foregoing, his Organisation hold the view that the 2021 elections may not be credible, a situation which is likely to be met with fierce resistance and pushback from stakeholders and citizens.

He has called on the Electoral commission of Zambia, government and all stakeholders to draw lessons from a poorly managed 2016 general election as well as the developing electoral trends in the region and across the globe to craft a credible electoral system for ourselves.

14 COMMENTS

  1. The upnd stakeholders and sympathisers have already started finding excuses of losing even before the election has taken place. It’s like me telling you that God will come tomorrow. Have these guys become some sort of prophet? A devil’s prophet more like

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    • Obsessed with UPND all the time,there are over 30 opposition parties in Zambia. Please get a life

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  2. @Kaizer Zulu, it is better for you to keep your mouth shut and look a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

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  3. Kaizar Zulu you should have answered the man by explaining what the Minister of Defence meant in what he said, explain why ECZ maintains the 30 period, why ECZ won’t allow other Party’s to witness the printing of ballot papers. That’s the response we are expecting from a State House official.

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    • Zedian, ecz said printing of ballots can be witnessed by stake holders but at their own cost, whilst ecz facilitates and reason was finances

  4. There are elections every month in Zambia, for wards councilors and people vote with good turn out.
    Am not sure why these opposition are complaining.
    Just call for early elections.

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  5. I thought ECZ only refused to pay for the so called independent observers. Those that can fund themselves are free to so. How can you call yourself independent observer to observe an event that is paid by the person who are supposed to be checking on? You as an observer are already compromised by accepting handouts.

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  6. Maturing is realising how certain individuals with less than five don’t require any comments.

  7. Let’s compete on level ground with no partiality. ECZ please let the best man win, we don’t want to be in a re-run like what happened in Malawi where the wind of change is blowing from.

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  8. PF can’t spell integrity but they can spell corruption, stealing from zambia, make zambians beggers and so on. KZ is simply a stup1d lost has been fart
    Pf must go or zambia dies

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  9. The Electoral Commission of Zambia should speak for itself whn it comes under criticism from its stakeholders because it makes its own decisions in as far as elections are concerned. If anyone speaks for them, then it means the ECZ is not up to the task. If it cannot defend and justify its own decisions, then it undermines its own credibility and impartiality.

  10. When people say our reading culture is very bad, they are referring to the likes of Mr Phiri who’s trying to look smart by giving us all sorts of figures to try and show that it’s an impossible task. On 2nd April 2020 LT carried an article where ECZ clearly stated that “Smartmatic International Holdings BV will supply, deliver, install, train and commission 26,000 Biometric Voter Registration kits and software”…So is Mr Phiri telling us ECZ can fail to register 300,000 voters a day with all those kits?

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