Good Governance Zambia (GGOZA) Governance Training Coordinator, Chombo Phiri has rejected calls by some stakeholders that the Electoral Commision of Zambia (ECZ) should consider postponing the August 2021 general elections as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Phiri has said the election calendar is grounded in the constitution and is unchangeable. She has said, ‘’Electoral processes are of utmost importance in a democracy and should not be so easily tempered with, whilst we acknowledge the dangers of spreading COVID-19 during and in the lead up to voting, we are better off preparing now for a ‘new normal’ of conducting the elections.
Speaking in an interview with Zibani Zambia, Ms. Phiri further stated that citizens are the centerpiece to democracy, they through their vote have the power to maintain and or change public leadership. Therefore no one should unilaterally to take this power from them.
Phiri thanked the Electoral Commission of Zambia for how they have so far followed the electoral calendar and the manner in which they have conducted activities leading to the August elections. She has further called upon other CSO’s to predominantly take up the role of election monitoring this year, “It makes sad reading that foreign organizations are more eager to be observers and monitors in our elections than local organizations.
Elections are for the local people; foreign entities can come in to compliment the efforts but they should never take center stage of local elections. The mandate we should take on is to strengthen our local bodies and ensure they are credible and legitimate as opposed to handing over such a delicate process to outsiders.” Ms. Phiri said.
“As Good Governance Zambia our aim is to protect the motherland from foreign interests. We have stated categorically that it is naïve and dangerous for us to assume that every foreign entity is a friend of Zambia. We therefore commend all relevant authorities to put in place processes that scrutinize and limit the number of observers coming into Zambia” she added in closing