MEMBERS of the Democracy and Motherland Defenders Coalition have urged civil society organizations and the general populace to respect the mandate of the Electoral Commission of Zambia- ECZ.
Speaking to Zibani Zambia today, Democracy and Motherland Defenders Coalition members Francis Chipili and Samuel Banda said ECZ is competent and efficient to carry out its mandate. The two have charged that it is unfortunate that some organizations and individuals want to discredit the electoral body.
Below is the full statement:

OCIDA MUST COME CLEAN AND TELL THE NATION WHAT IT INTENDS TO DO WITH CITIZEN”S PERSONAL DATA IT IS COLLECTING

… SHOULD NOT RIDE ON THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF ZAMBIA TO ORCHESTRATE ITS HIDDEN AGENDA

We are dismayed at the activities being undertaken by OCIDA. The attempts to draw and or force the Electoral Commission of Zambia register voters outside the registration window which the Commission had provided, is absolutely unwelcome interference in the pre-election operation processes of the Commission.

These well calculated surreptitious schemes by OCIDA are being done to champion selfish agendas, to position the country for pre and post-election conflict arena and as a means to seek OCIDA’s “Third Force” mission of political power brokerage relevance. OCIDA must understand that the Electoral Commission of Zambia enjoys constitutional legitimacy autonomy. OCIDA must therefore immediately cease its attempts to derail the progress that the commission has scored in its pre-election cycle.

OCIDA should look for other useful citizen’s engagement pursuits that can contribute to the overall harmonious election year atmosphere. True patriots do not set their governance institution up for intentional conflict. The schemes to undermine and or discredit constitutionally mandated institution can never be entertained by well-meaning patriotic citizens, especially that such plots are pathways to cultivate anarchy in the country now and post elections.

Where was OCIDA during the voter’s registration? Good faith intended stakeholders were encouraging citizens to register during the registration window opened by ECZ. The extension was another opportunity OCIDA could have utilized if truly its interest is to ensure the ECZ captured eligible and willing citizens.

Voter registration and any other activity relating to the electoral process under the ECZ are done in accordance with pre-established procedural processes. We find it rather odd that the ECZ allegedly received names of people to be registered as submitted by OCIDA knowing very well that the official allocated period for registration expired. The Electoral Commission of Zambia is mandated with cardinal roles in the country’s democratic process. As independent civil society as well as members of the Democracy and Motherland Defenders Coalition, we expect the ECZ to follow the calendar they put up whilst ensuring transparency and integrity.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia has from time to time demonstrated its competency efficacy and so we appeal to OCIDA and many others individuals and or institution scheming to distract the focus of the commission to instead give space and allow ECZ to diligently serve the people. Voter registration is only part of the many processes the ECZ has to carry out in getting the country ready for the August 12th elections. Hence the call to have the commission revert back to voter’s registration is extremely in bad faith as well as ill intended. we do not see how it is possible to register new voters after the process is closed.

We therefore would like to urge the Electoral Commission of Zambia not to entertain such bad faith manoeuvres by OCIDA. We have total confidence in the Electoral Commission of Zambia to do things in a transparent and inclusive manner, the commission understands the importance of its mandate and cannot afford to fall prey in the traps that may compromise the integrity and credibility of our electoral process.

 

Francis Chipili – Chief Executive Officer
Zambian Institute of Governance and Civil Liberties Advocacy Platform- ZIGCLAP

Samuel Banda – Executive Director
Advocates for National Development and Democracy