By Marvin Chanda Mberi
During his annual greetings of the Diplomatic corps accredited to Zambia, held virtually on 23rd March, 2021, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu did not want to leave anything to chance but assure the international community that the elections will be free and fair.
This commitment by the President comes barely when some unpatriotic citizens have with impunity been abusing the cyber space to discredit the hard earned reputation Zambia has acquired as a beacon of peace.
The aspersions being cast on social media seem to suggest that the nation is ungovernable yet the contrary is true.
President Lungu even went an extra mile to indicate to the diplomats who were in attendance that soon the invitations will be sent to the observers who wish to monitor the elections.
This is despite that Zambia is anticipating a third wave of corona virus which is likely to hit Zambia in the third quarter of this year and building up to the elections.
ECL’s open invitation in view of the world as the meeting was streamed live on various social media platforms with a wide following, is highly appreciated as it is commitment towards the transparent and peaceful electoral process.
President Lungu has proved his critics wrong especially those who judge the standard of a free and fair election only if the outcome favored them.
From the time the preparations for elections kicked off, the power hungry politicians who have lost six times consecutively have always discredited the democratic process.
To remind those who maybe forgetful, President Lungu has always been truthful to his holding free and fair elections and he did it in 2016.
In 2016, elections which gave him his first term where highly praised by various institutions as observers freely undertook their calling.
The President’s pledge to the Diplomats is consistent with the assurance he has given to the Zambian people and more recently the directive to the Inspector General of Police Mr Kakoma Kanganja to reform the police service.
The police on the other hand are confident that they will not let the Zambian people down and will be helpful in delivering the peaceful poll.
Now that the highest office in the land has extended an olive branch to international observers, the onus is now on the political players to complement the efforts that have been made by the various institutions.
ECL has demonstrated political will, the onus lies on those with the duty to take necessary measures and ensure that his wish is not put to waste.