The Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) has been challenged to provide proof of foreigners being registered as voters by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
Governance and legal activist, Isaac Mwanza, has asked Father Cleophas Lungu and his group to move beyond the making of mere political allegations to providing evidence of foreigners being registered as voters.
“At this point, it is clear that the propaganda machinery of political parties is being used against each other in which party functionaries are giving NRCs and voter’s cards to children and foreign nationals from neighboring countries to pose as persons ECZ has registered as voters,” said.
He said it was unfortunate institutions which are supposed to have credibility such as CCMG are falling prey to this propaganda and raising false alarms to aid such political schemes.
“At the end of the day, CCMG and its funding international partners will be writing reports about Zambia registering kids and foreign nationals just to discredit our country’s electoral system based on untested allegations,” said Mwanza.
Mr Mwanza said those who are saying children have been registered or foreign nationals have been registers are failing to provide the exact location of where such practices have been done.
“The mission for CCMG can be discerned from the way Father Lungu speaks but the clergy must avoid taking sides even at the expense contributing to international reports aimed at discrediting the country,” said Mwanza
He said it was becoming clear that Father Lungu has taken a political side and using the CCMG which is heaving financed and favoured by some cooperating partners to legitimize the propaganda being done by political parties.
CCMG has accused some voter registration officers under the Electoral Commission of Zambia of having enlisted foreigners on the new voters register which will be used in the 2021 general and the future elections.
But ECZ Acting Public Relations Manager Sylvia Bwalya disputed the claims of foreigners being registered.
Ms Bwalya says the commission can only register eligible candidates who are Zambians and are 18 years and above.