The Electoral Commission of Zambia Debacle: Was All this Necessary?


By Fred M’membe President of the Socialist Party

The decision that has come out of the High Court of Zambia today ordering the Electoral Commission of Zambia to postpone parliamentary by-elections in Kwacha and Kabushi and hold fresh nominations allowing Mr Joseph Malanji and Mr Bowman Lusambo to contest was expected. It is not a surprise, the opposite would have been a surprise, a shocker. And the Electoral Commission of Zambia and its political masters knew very, very well that they had no reason, legal or otherwise, to stop Mr Malanji and Mr Lusambo from being candidates in these parliamentary by-elections. But they still went ahead to issue a precedent press statement that no nominations will be accepted from Mr Malanji and Mr Lusambo. And indeed on the nomination day, they refused to accept their nomination papers. There’s no doubt that the Electoral Commission of Zambia was working on instructions from its political masters.

Mr Malanji and Mr Lusambo took the matter to the Constitutional Court and got a favourable decision confirming their right to contest these by-elections. But still the Electoral Commission of Zambia, together with their political masters, decided to proceed with the by-elections minus Mr Malanji and Mr Lusambo in total disregard of the Constitutional Court decision. Ballot papers, which now have to be thrown away, were printed at a very high cost to the taxpayer. And Mr Hakainde Hichilema, at a very high expense to the taxpayer, went on an expensive five-day door-to-door campaign in Kwacha and Kabushi.

In more accountable societies many would lose their jobs at the Electoral Commission of Zambia for the damage they have done to the institution’s public standing, and credibility and the money they have wasted. Oh what a web they have weaved themselves into by trying to be lawless, crooked, dishonest, vindictive!
And can Mr Malanji and Mr Lusambo reasonably expect this Electoral Commission of Zambia to ran free and fair by-elections in which they are candidates? Will they level the play field and ensure that the by-elections are postponed for a reasonable time to allow Mr Malanji and Mr Lusambo to catch up because they deliberately disadvantaged them?
Again, we ask: why all this intransigence, and desperation?

We all know that one of the hardest things to do in life is to do the right thing. What we think are the right things. Not what our friends, family and bosses think are the right things.

What is the right thing? That’s up to us to decide. Often we have a little voice in our heads that tells what the right things are. Or a gut feeling. God expects each one of us to play our part in helping to make this country a better place than we found it. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to ensure that everything we do is done right and for the benefit of citizens and all who live here.

Doing right is not a sign of weakness, it is however a sign of maturity, integrity and responsibility. It’s only mature, responsible and people with integrity that are always doing what is right.

Doing the right things in every situation has many benefits. Doing the right things gives us peace of mind. When we are on the right side of the law we are at peace with ourselves. We go to sleep knowing that all is well with us. Knowing that we do not expect the unexpected.
There is nothing more uncomfortable than going to bed with an unsettled mind. Everything we do has a way of catching up with us. What goes around comes around. In this life we tend to get what we give. By doing the right things we tend to get the same things back. Do the right thing, put in the extra effort.

When we don’t do the right things we are not only sending out signals out into our world. We are also sending signals to ourselves. When we don’t do the right things we don’t feel good about ourselves. We may experience emptiness or get stuck in negative thought loops. Its like we are letting ourselves down. We are telling ourselves that we can’t handle doing the right things. To not do the right things is a bit like punching ourselves in the stomachs.

A powerful side effect of not doing the right thing is that we give ourselves a lack of deservedness. This can really screw up you and your success. If you don’t do the right thing in your life then you won’t feel like you deserve the success that you may be on your way towards or experiencing right now. So you start to self-sabotage, perhaps deliberately or through unconscious thoughts.

Doing the right thing increases your integrity – and integrity matters. You become more trustworthy and respected. And don’t forget: the truth will come out.


  1. “…….Doing the right things in every situation has many benefits. Doing the right things gives us peace of mind. When we are on the right…….”

    Listen to cde Membe…………

    After not paying taxes at the post newspaper for years……….

    When has he become a philosopher ?

  2. The reason there will be no consequences for officers at ECZ for this embarrassing episode is that it’s somebody or several of them high up in the UPND Government hierarchy that was giving those instructions; those whom you have correctly referred to as political masters. What this judgement has proved is that whoever they are, they are shameless brainless iidioots

  3. Anyone who would be fired up after reading Fred Mmembe’s article is self delusional as he is …imagine he is writing to sympathise with Malanji and Bowman these are Lazy Lungu’s right hand men, whatever game Fred is playing here some oneis going to get badly burnt.

    “Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
    ? Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  4. Don’t blame the ECZ………..

    you have the most ridiculous constitution that even the owners of the language, the British, would have to bring in different dictionaries to understand………….

  5. Like how you find each pastor with a different interpretation of each verse of the bible……..

    Each lawyer has his own take of the meaning of the Zambian constitution………..

  6. What tipped the applecart is that letter advising the duo not to report at the nominations. Why would someone write such a letter when you don’t even know who a particular party will field.

  7. this is Keystone Cops Reloaded or as Laurel said – will you leave the THINKING to me! ConC could not pick cherries, now HC does the same – there were NEVER 4-5 instances as Makebi puts it – Prof Munalula is the only sane voice in this beer-hall!!

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