Thursday, June 13, 2024

ECZ has a constitutional mandate to suspend rallies – Nshindano

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Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano has maintained that ECZ has a constitutional mandate to suspend the holding of political rallies saying the commission sought legal advice before deciding to ban the public gatherings.

Speaking on Hot breakfast show on HOT FM this morning, Mr Nshindano says his Commission is on firm footing, as it sought legal advice from the attorney general’s office before making such pronouncements.

Stating that COVID-19 is a multispectral health issue stating that the Health Act, the Statutory Instruments (SI) 20,21 and 61 make specific reference to COVID–19 and its management, Mr Nshindano stressed that there is no exception when it comes to electoral activities.

”Those particular laws have to be aligned because you can say, no health does not apply when it comes to elections. We need to be honest with ourselves on what we want to achieve as a country regarding the health and economy,” he said.

People should understand that rallies have been identified as super-spreaders for covid-19 saying politicians should use other avenues to campaign to safeguard lives.

Mr Nshindano noted that Zambia does to have the capacity to contain the COVID-19 if it rises to higher levels saying the country would be devastated.

He stated that there are health guidelines that stipulate the penalties that should apply to those who will breach the law.

“There are some prescriptions of about six months imprisonment, and it will not be for the commission to apply but for other law enforcement agencies.

“ As a commission we work with other agencies including the police when it’s criminal matters, if it is an issue to do with corruption we work with the Anti-Corruption Commission and in the case we will work with those charged to enforce the law on this matter,” he said.

Yesterday, Mr Nshindano suspended the holding of political rallies to curb the spread of COVID-19, a move which received criticism from some civil society organisations and opposition political parties.

The stakeholders have maintained state that the ECZ director has no legal right to suspend the holding of political rallies ahead of the August 12 general elections.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Shimano; stop politicking. Which law gives you the powers? Don’t assume powers you don’t have. Have the bars, night clubs, sports activities, markets been burnes? What about ports of entry, why are they still open? Let lungu also stay in State house. How can Lungu open his campaign and start touring all the corners of the country and you say political parties should find other ways of campaigning when Lungu and his party are busy and in every district. Be behold and tell Lungu to campaign from state house and stop using public resources. I now see that you are just a cadre like many in government institutions without spines. You accept positions without knowing your mandate leaving yourself to manipulations by the appointing authority. Why, Zambia. Where is your legal adviser? I don’t…

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  2. Nshindano is a damned shameless liar.What specific reference to Covid 19 is there yet the disease was not around when Zambia’s constitution was drafted?

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  3. The Combination of Essau Chulu and Nshindano at ECZ is a recipe for disaster. These two are ECL Surrogates ready to steal the Election for ECL. After all those mistakes made by Chulu in 2016 he should have been removed as Chairman of ECZ. The chances of Chulu and Nshindano declaring HH and UPND Alliance winner of the Elections is remote. The two are Acting on strict Orders from State House. The writing is on the wall.

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  4. Nshindano should cite the Article in the Electoral Act which mandates ECZ to ban Opposition Rallies only. Right now ECL is holding Rallies disguised as “working visits ” or inspecting Projects. There is no doubt that ECZ is implementing Lungu’s directives to ban Opposition Parties Rallies only. ECZ as Manager of this Election is failing to discipline ECL and PF. What is Good for the Gueese is good for the Gander. U can’t have free,fair and credible Elections without Political Parties being allowed to freely campaign during the Campaign Period. ECL is a Candidate in this Election and yet he is being allowed to be a Referee and a Player at the same time in this Election. International Election Monitors and Observers are watching.

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  5. THERE IS PANIC IN THE PF CAMP
    THEY EVEN RESORTING TO PRIVATISATION TALK FROM 25 YEARS AGO KIKIKIKIKIK
    LAST ELECTION LUNGU LOST BY 3,000 VOTES THIS TIME MAYBE 3,000,000
    ZAMBIA REJOICE OUR TIME IS COMING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Very doubtful , we will check! So far ECZ has failed to follow any constitutional requirements on so many issues! Voter registration, vote buying and violence! Very surprising that now they have found their voice because this is what their master PF wants! Shameless lot!

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  7. Mr Nshindamo do you remember Priscilla Isaac’s. Look how she left the ECZ totally disgraced whereby today no one even wants to mention her. Is that the same legacy you want to leave? Think about it.

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  8. If Nshindano is right, then why can Lungu hold rallies in Luapula, Kambwili in Mkushi etc??? I guess Nshindano received a bit of “empowerment” from the shameless corrupt PF government and now is looking the other way when Lungu is on tour! Stop all campaigning by all means, but then for ALL political parties, and that is NOT happening!

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  9. Zambians take precautions to avoid exposure to convid-19 and ensure the safety of others. People clamoring for rallies are the same people who will not attend the rallies because they do not want to be affected. life is lost once, there is no second chance.

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  10. UPND continues to tempt fate by saying they will go against ECZ’ suspension of rallies. I see how they get excited when they have a crowd around them. They even lower their masks. But should they continue with their behaviour, it will not be long before one of their leaders gets infected with the virus and is eliminated by it. UPND should not play politics with people’s lives. Lesa ni malyotolola, wilamushenteka!

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  11. THERE IS PANIC IN THE PF CAMP
    THEY EVEN RESORTING TO PRIVATISATION TALK FROM 25 YEARS AGO KIKIKIKIKIK
    LAST ELECTION LUNGU LOST BY 3,000 VOTES THIS TIME MAYBE 3,000,000
    ZAMBIA REJOICE OUR TIME IS COMING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…

    This is what Kambwili was saying. Your time as who??????? The watermelon is not ripe. Not yet red inside!!!!!!!!!!

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  12. This is far fetched. The question is whether ECZ itself has power to suspend rallies. It’s not whether there are health laws that would necessitate this suspension. Are you the one empowered to do so? Under which specific clauses of which law? I have perused the Electrol Act and there is no such provision (unless I missed it somewhere?) You cannot extrapolate powers that you do not have. Under the Constitution, usually in an emergency, some rights may be suspended or limited for public health reasons – but a mere electrol body is not empowered to exercise the same as far as I can denote.

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  13. This is what happens when you have headless chickens in the opposition, they spin without control. If all the people die of Covid-19 who are you going to rule if by the remotest chance you win August 12 elections?

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  14. Mene Mene Tekel U Hichilema.
    (Your kingdom has been weighed in the balance and found wanting and has been given to Hichilema)

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  15. One thing we need to have as Zambians is the truth regardless of who we want to be in state house. Sata and PF to take power from MMD used PVT and MMD could not manipulate votes in anyway as a sitting government. Zambia’s election system is even far much better than USA. We vote in one day and each polling station has representatives of participating parties. Immediately voting is closed votes are counted in view of everyone and they sign the certificate. Its these results from polling stations if UPND is serious should use on their own PVT and should the total they have differ with what ECZ announces those are the details they should present in the courts during the petition. In 2016 HH was mislead by his supporters and after realising that their own PVT is agreeing with what ECZ…

  16. cont. After realising tha there own PVT is agreeing with the results ECZ announced, they resorted to preliminaries during the petition hearing and later HH’s lawyers abandoned him during the petition. HH appeared before the constitution court with GBM asking the courts to give them time to look for lawyers. These lawyers shamelessly reappeared after 14 days has elapsed to again represent HH in the case of right to be heard at the High Court. Please lets love our country more than political parties. Politicians change camp. Mazoka was first MMD before he formed UPND. ECL was first UPND before he joined PF. ECL first contested elections as MP under UPND lost to Sampa Bret. Then he was a darling of UPND today he is lawyer who stole clients money. When did UPND know about this?

  17. In short HH did not win 2016 elections. He lost. Stopping lying to people that 2016 elections were stolen. Bring out the PVT for 2016 and show any polling station where UPND got higher votes and ECZ announced less. Elections need hard work to win. It does not end on crowds following a candidate. UPND need to invest in election strategies and if your PVT shows you that you lost congratulate the winner and don’t set this country on fire because of personal hatred on certain individuals. Sata lost elections despite having crowds in Lusaka and copperbelt and PF supporters got angry when VJ told them that Zambia is not Lusaka and copperbelt. I hope UPND understand that.

  18. Insulting is a fundamental sign for those who can’t think and they expect Zambians to entrust them with governance of the nation. I can never vote or encourage anyone to vote for a party whose supporters just know how to insult anyone who does not agree with them. I never intended to say this but if UPND supporters insult anyone who states the truth before them, how can I honestly vote for HH. If UPND supporters can call us dogs now when they are not in power, what will they call us if they won elections? I have been telling people to give HH chance and consideration but I have stopped. I think since no politician brings food in our houses or pays rent for us, there’s no justifiable reason to change government if supporters of the party can insult like this. Just to advise you that have…

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