The Patriotic Front has said calls by a consortium of 20 civil society organizations and the alliance of political parties for Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairman Justice Esau Chulu to resign are unsubstantiated, polarized and uncalled for.
In a statement released today, Media Director Sunday Chanda said the PF have taken note of the developments circulating in and on various media platforms this week to politicize the voter registration exercise and victimize officials mandated to handle the electoral process in this country.
The PF have however said Justice Chulu has served at ECZ has presided over free and fair elections since he became a Commissioner from 2009 until April 2015 when he was appointed chairman.
“Judge Chulu has been involved in overseeing 3 presidential elections (2011, 2015 and 2016) all of which were deemed free and fair by local and international organizations including those CSO`s now calling for his resignation,” said Mr Chanda.
He said everyone including those calling for resignation of Judge Chulu supported his ratification as Chairman when he was appointed.
“Among the statements issued at that time were those of GEARS chairperson MacDonald Chipenzi (heading FODEP in 2015) who said: ‘We are in support of the filling of vacancies because the commission was put in a very awkward position. The expectations on the trio are high because elections require level-headedness and fairness,’ We are therefore surprised that today Mr Chipenzi would say Justice Chulu is incompetent to deliver a free and fair election in 2021.” Said Mr Chanda
And in a statement issued by Charles Kakoma in 2015 said, the UPND had said “it is good that President Lungu has filled the vacancies at ECZ to enable it to start preparations for next year’s tripartite elections. Mr Kakoma said UPND members of Parliament will support the ratification of Mr Justice Chulu’s appointment and the two commissioners because they are credible people.”
Mr Chanda said the UPND should tell Zambians what has changed and said the PF finds it strange that today the UPND leader should stand up and endorse calls to weaken ECZ through the resignation of its internationally acclaimed chairman without any justification.