By Kelvin Musumina
When Electoral Commission of Zambia announced the Voter Registration program our friends from the opposition came out crying and accusing ECZ of wanting to rig elections for the ruling party. They were against the the scrapping of the old voter register which we all agreed that it still had persons who had passed away.
The ECZ further called for a consultative meeting of Party Presidents which His Excellency Dr Lungu humbled himself and attended. In that meeting all genuine leaders agreed to the proposal of a new voter register but our friends as usual they refused.
Later when the registration period was announced again our friends ran to the mountain top to cry foul and accused ECZ of being incompetent.
But when the Voter Registration started, our friends, the noise opposition were quick to accuse ECZ again of wanting to help the ruling party rig the 2021 elections by using a system that was making people take long to register.
But little did the nation know about the distribution of Registration kits sent across the Country.
It took the Civil Society Organization such as YALI and the others to conduct a survey that revealed that actually a particular Province received more kits than any other.
The receiving of Southern Province more registration kits than others was a deliberate move taken by officers at ECZ who originate from the same Province to help the opposition have more numbers than any other Province.
Did UPND say anything about the distributed numbers of kits in their stronghold, NO.
If we can have officers deliberately allocate more kits in the stronghold of the UPND then what would stop these officers organize criminals to go and steal registration kits from Kitwe a stronghold of the ruling Patriotic Front.
How come it had to be in Kitwe at Twatasha Primary School that two printers had to be stolen. Was this not one of the gimmicks that the UPND could be playing with the same officers to ensure that PF strongholds register few numbers while Southern Province registers more especially that they had more kits.
The Patriotic Front leadership must not take these events lightly because they are obviously calculated moves that the opposition UPND is using disadvantage the ruling party.
When YALI and the other CSOs questioned the criteria used to have Southern Province be allocated with more registration kits than Eastern Province which has a similar population or Lusaka that has a higher number of people ECZ to date has not responded.
This must sound a bell that something fishy is happening behind closed doors that even the Commissioner and Director at ECZ are not aware of.
With this observation we therefore strongly believe that the opposition is behind the theft. The opposition would do this possibly for two reasons,
1) to create a picture that would discredit the registration process by later accuse the PF that they got the printers and would print extra voter’s cards for it’s members, or
2) to further ensure that Kitwe a stronghold of PF records a low voters count especially that it already had received fewer kits unlike Southern Province which was favored by ECZ Officials eg a Mwiinga.
We therefore ask the PF and Ministry of Home Affairs to follow up these developments.
(DISCLAIMER: The views in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Zibani Zambia or it’s staff but are those of the author)