GEARS Initiative, a UPND-aligned NGO, has called on the Electoral Commission of Zambia to breach the Constitution by cancelling the forthcoming Vubwi Town Council Chairperson set for 4th February, 2021.

UPND Vubwi District Chairman Charles Nyoka

And UPND Vubwi District Chairperson Charles Nyoka has said the UPND is not prepared for the Vubwi by election as the Secretariat is hesitating to fund them.

GEARS Initiative founder McDonald Chipenzi said in as much as the by-election falls within 90 days in which to hold it, the end of the 90 day period extends into the 180 day period in which by-elections are not supposed to held in Zambia.

Mr Chipenzi said the holding of a by election which the Constitution of Zambia authorises is an unnecessary expense to the national Treasury and must be stopped or cancelled forthwith.

“The Constitution in Article 57 (2) is very instructive of this and states thus, “A by-election shall not be held within the one hundred-and-eighty [180] day period that precedes a General Election” and the 180th day for this period starts about February 12, 2021,” said Chipenzi.

The Vubwi by election has been set for 4th February 2021, just 8 days shy of the start of the 180 day period in which by-elections must not be held.

And Mr Nyoka expressed disappointment that Mr Hichilema has failed to prevail over the Secretariat to release money for the Vubwi By Election.

“We have continued to suffer defeat in by elections because our leaders in Lusaka have penguin hands when it comes to financing party activities,” said Mr Nyoka.

He said the party is not popular in Vubwi and should have used the by election to help mobilise ahead of 2021 General election.

“Our leader (Hichilema) is only concerned with winning by elections which happen in Southern Province where he spends too much money but we have suffered losses because of penguin hands when it comes to other provinces. Even our colleagues in Western and North Western are complaining of the same,” said Mr Nyoka.

Mr Nyoka said those calling for cancellation of the Vubwi by election are doing so because they know Mr Hichilema will not want to fund the party in the district ahead of the election.