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Sunday, May 16, 2021

ECZ Requirement to Physically Transport 1,000 Presidential Candidate Supporters to its Offices is a Health Risk

Columns ECZ Requirement to Physically Transport 1,000 Presidential Candidate Supporters to its Offices...

By Sean Tembo

1. As Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) we wish to put it on record that we have always appreciated and supported the work being done by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) in its preparations for this year’s general elections. However, we are now disappointed with the procedures that the Commission has put in place for submission of presidential candidate supporters who are required to physically present themselves at a provincial ECZ office.

2. As Patriots for Economic Progress, we believe that the reason that has been advanced by ECZ that they need these supporters to physically travel to an ECZ office so that they can obtain biometric parameters from them to confirm that they are genuine voters, does not hold water because ECZ already collected biometric features from all voters during the voter registration process and there is no reason for duplicating this exercises all over again.

3. As Patriots for Economic Progress, our proposal is that ECZ should allow presidential candidates to submit a list of the 100 supporters from each province using an ECZ approved template which would capture all essential details such as full names, physical address, NRC and Voters Cards numbers, signatures, telephone numbers etcetera. ECZ would then easily confirm whether the supporters on the list are genuine registered voters by cross-referencing to their database of registered voters.

4. As Patriots for Economic Progress, our view is that the requirement for presidential candidate supporters to each physically travel to an ECZ office in each province is problematic in several ways. Firstly, transporting 100 people in each province will require the hiring of at least two big buses, which amounts to 20 buses across the country. The cost of hiring a single big bus per day is not less than K10,000, which totals K200,000 for the entire 10 provinces. These 1,000 supporters will also need to be provided with food and other refreshments while they are waiting to be served at the provincial ECZ office, and if we peg the cost per person at K150, this totals K150,000. If we add other incidentals, the total cost easily reaches K500,000. Although this amount might appear small for larger parties such as PF and UPND, it is a huge unnecessary cost for us. We could use this money for other mobilization activities.

5. Secondly, the ECZ requirement to physically transport 1,000 presidential candidate supporters to various provincial ECZ offices across the country presents a significant health risk to our members in this COVID-19 era as it exposes our people to infection and possible death. The Commission is supposed to be promoting methods of doing things which do not abrogate but comply with COVID-19 guidelines. We cannot have a situation whereby one arm of the Government is busy fighting COVID-19 while another arm of the same Government is busy promoting the spread of COVID-19.

6. Thirdly, given the fact that our supporters will be required to be at a specific provincial ECZ office on a specific date and at a specific time, it presents a huge security risk as they can easily be waylaid by our political opponents and prevented from reaching the ECZ office so that our presidential nomination fails.

7. All the above problems can be avoided if the Electoral Commission of Zambia removes this artificial impediment which has the overall effect of undermining the participation of smaller political parties in this year’s general elections. As Patriots for Economic Progress, we have since written to the Commission requesting that they should allow presidential candidates to submit lists of their supporters per province instead of demanding that such supporters physically present themselves at a provincial ECZ office. We are confident that the Commission will favorably consider our request.

17 COMMENTS

  1. WHETHER HE HAS SUPPORTERS OR NOT THE FACT THAT HE HE AGAINST THE CURRENT DICTATORIAL REGIME IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME

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  2. President Sean Tembo’s concern are valid and I wonder why the ECZ has diverted from the previous procedures, its like at each stage there is a hitch. What is the main problem at ECZ of late? I am the people that are appointed or holding various positions are well educated and experienced and ready to handle the delicate job on behalf of 17million plus Zambians. There is this issue of meeting aspiring candidates I am wondering if these will attend in their individual capacities or not as most political parties have not yet announced names of their adopted men and women apart from those PF adoptions from Western Province. Meantime Parliament is still on and the Republican President said that Parliament will dissolve on 12/05/21. And its like that is when major contenders PF and UPND will…

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  3. Again, comment on the articles please, only then can you write your assumptions as to whether he has the necessary support or not.
    He raises a good point.
    ECZ does have this information, let them make use of technology, we are not living in the 90s please!
    They simply need call a random 20 numbers from the submitted list of a 100, ask the person their NRC and it’s done!
    I do not see why ECZ would oppose this.
    There is a risk of PF cadres disrupting a large group of opposition supporters on those provided days and times.

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  4. You forgot to mention that it’ll be extra work for Mwami 1 and his team. There will battles especially between the 2 savage Parties. Mwai 1 won’t manage to police 10 battles across the country simultaneously. Let them come up with another simpler way of doing it, although there’s chance that even the dead can be on somebody’s list but that can’t as widespread

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  5. These could be staggered with their voter’s registration cards. Those who are veryfied could go away. Political parties could also their homework and prepare the the list of their supporters at least one thousand who would then be verified.

  6. Because of dishonesty physical presence is essential….also if you know you are a smaller party…think going forward merge your parties and form a force…but we forget you only accept to merge if you are president…otherwise continue being a political commentator or run as MP to better understand the set up…assuming you would win…..

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  7. That is just a mare 100 supporters at each provincial capital city.The supporters can even take a walk from their homes to the ECZ offices on nomination day.
    1.Lusaka , 2.Kabwe , 3.Ndola , 4,Choma , 5.Mongu ,
    6.Chipata , 7.Nakonde, 8.Solwezi , 9, Mansa , 10. Kasama.
    Do the PF surrogates like Sean Tembo, Chilufya Tayali , Edith Nawakwi, Dan Pule etc even have nation wide support.
    That is why the UPND was taking part in every by-election nation wide.

  8. Good observation, Mr Tembo but I bet you will have to work extra hard to raise the minimum threshold whether physically or virtually

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  9. ECZ only decided on this process after having received a phonecall from State House, warning them that they would all lose their jobs if not implemented!

  10. It is only a heath risk to unpopular people like you. 1000 people can socially distance. Reminds me of mavis ngosa

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