By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) leader Sean Tembo say recent pronouncements w and the manner in which the Electoral Commission of Zambia is handling this year’s general election is disappointing.
Mr Tembo says the banning of roadshows for all political parties across the country is disappointing and random.
“Our view is that the excuse given by the Commission that roadshows had been turned into mobile political rallies is only applicable to the PF and UPND, instead of only banning roadshows for the PF and the UPND, who are the culprits in non-adherence to Covi-19 regulations, the Commission in its infinite wisdom has decided to ban roadshows for all political parties across the country,” he said.
Mr Tembo said that their findings indicates that apart from the PF and the UPND, the rest of the political parties have been adhering to Covid-19 regulations in their roadshows.
Mr Tembo also said that all political parties aside the PF and the UPND did not deserve to be punished for the wrongdoing of two political parties.
“We wish to bring it to the attention of the Commission that whereas the PF and UPND are old and established political parties who are already known countrywide, the other political parties including ourselves are new and we need the opportunity to market ourselves to the electorate, therefore, if ECZ is going to continue with the random conduct of punishing all political parties for the wrongdoing of two political parties, then the total effect of the Commission’s arbitrary actions will be to kill democracy in this country,” he said.
Mr Tembo has reminded the Commission that Zambia’s democracy in general and this year’s elections in particular, do not revolve around two political parties only.
“Therefore, the Commission should not get swallowed up in the maze of accusations and counter-accusations between the PF and UPND and forget its primary mandate in the process, it is now apparent to us that the Commission is divorced from the reality on the ground in terms of campaigns, based on its pronouncement that door-to-door campaigns should be restricted to 3 people per political party,” he said.
The PeP leader added that such a proposal is simply not practical for a number of reasons including security.
“A group of three people going door-to-door in places such as Marapodi, Misisi or Chibolya will simply be robbed of all their possessions, this is a stack reminder that Commissioners that constitute ECZ should be made up of a mix of people including those that have first-hand experience in politics and not just pen-pushers who only have a theoretical perspective of political campaigns,” he said.