Activist Laura Miti has warned that the next Director of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) must not be aligned to the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND).
ECZ on Wednesday announced the departure of Kryticous Patrick Nshindano as its Chief Electoral Officer on reported mutual agreement.
In a statement issued by ECZ Corporate Affairs Manager Patricia Luhanga, the commission indicted that it will announce Mr. Nshindano’s successor once the appointment is finalized.
Mr. Nshindano had been at the helm of ECZ for three years prior to his departure on 3rd August, 2022.
Ms. Miti said she hopes that the UPND administration, will not, in picking the next Director, be motivated by picking “their person.”
She said ECZ should be headed by someone identified for competence, independence of mind and non-partisanship.
Ms. Miti charged that the time of ECZ being a controversial body must end.
She also spoke against Mr Nshindano’s decision to accept the position of ECZ Chief Electoral Officer from PF.
“Patrick Nshindano’s time as Director of the Electoral Commission of Zambia has come to an end. My view always was that his decision to accept this position was ill advised to the extreme.Patrick is super smart and competent. He however, he accepted a poisoned chalice. It is very difficult to believe that PF, as we knew it, would have appointed someone to a vital electoral office that they did not belieive would do their malicious bidding.But that’s over now. We can only wish Patrick well in his next engagement,” she said.
“The question now is who takes over in a position that is central to our electoral democracy and in the running of peaceful credible elections? My sincere hope is that the UPND administration, will not, in picking the next Director, be motivated by picking “their person.” Can we have someone identified for competence, independence of mind and non-partisanship. I really do envy how South African elections are conducted. No matter how politically contested, all rivals display full belief in and acceptance of the results. That is because the SA electoral commission is respected for its full independence, competence and credibility,” she said.
“My citizen request is that, in appointing the next commission, the UPND focuses not on having a set of people to favour the party on elections, but on finding individuals who will understand the sanctity of our elections in establishing Zambia as a solid democracy.Let the politicians do battle for citizen minds during elections with everyone knowing that on election day, the individuals and parties that best convince citizens will win.The time of ECZ being a controversial body needs to end,” Ms. Miti said.