The Electoral Commission of Zambia –ECZ- says it will go ahead with the gazetted date for the 2021 general election which is august 12, 2021.
This follows concerns raised by some stakeholders suggesting that it is possible to conduct the presidential election early or later than August 21st 2021 as outlined in article 52(6) of the constitution due to the alleged failure by the PF government to govern the country.
But ECZ Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano explains that the constitution enshrined the actual date for the election and it can only take parliament to repeal the article or in a case where the country is in a state of emergency.
Mr Nshindano said during the interview that the commission will at all times adhere to what the constitution says as a way of ensuring delivery of credible, free and fair election.
However, legal activist, Isaac Mwanza, who has dragged ECZ to court over various election related issues has said ECZ will have a problem when any of the event outlined in Article 52(6) takes place after the nomination date but before the election date.
“What is clear is that any of these events can take a day or hours after nomination day or even hours before 12th August, 2021. In that event, ECZ will still have to obey the provisions of Article 52(6) which is binding on them,” said Mwanza.
Article 52(6) of the Constitution states that:
“52(6) Where a candidate dies, resigns or becomes disqualified in accordance with Article 70, 100 or 153 or a court disqualifies a candidate for corruption or malpractice, after the close of nominations and before the election date, the Electoral Commission shall cancel the election and require the filing of fresh nominations by eligible candidates and elections shall be held within thirty days of the filing of the fresh nominations.”