Don’t put Zambia on fire, UNIP president tells ECZ

Don’t put Zambia on fire, UNIP president tells ECZ

 

TIlyenji

TIlyenji

THE Electoral Commission of Zambia must not plant a seed of instability, says UNIP leader Tilyenji Kaunda.

He said the party did not care who wins the general elections in August but wants the polls to be transparent.

Tilyenji was commenting on the decision by the commission to print ballot papers in Dubai.

He said so far the ECZ had not provided security guarantees for printing ballot papers in Dubai.

“They must not plant a seed of instability; this is our country and it is a democracy. We want this process to be as open as possible. Mr [Vernon] Mwaanga worked in various departments. He has participated in many elections, so when he speaks, he speaks with authority. He knows, he has been on both sides, so to speak. I would not discard his statement and put it in the dustbin. He knows what he is talking about,” Tilyenji said. “The key thing is that we are all Zambians and want transparency. We are speaking as a matter of principle. We want transparency. For us when that [transparency] is there, we don’t care who wins. We know there have been cases of rigging. I have told you for instance that [late UPND leader Anderson] Mazoka should have won the 2001 elections; (Michael) Sata should have won in 2006 and 2008. Maybe HH (Hakainde Hichilema) should have won in 2015. You can’t just brush these things under the carpet just like that. If there is nothing to hide, the ECZ should open up the process of printing ballot papers. If they can’t print the ballot papers here, let our people go and bow in Dubai as well. Those are our elections.”

Tilyenji said that UNIP’s preference was that ballot papers are printed at Government Printers.

“The best elections were in 1991 because from all accounts, they were the most transparent elections and they were the most uncontentious elections to some extent in terms of way they were handled and the outcome was not contested. Election materials should be printed in Zambia. We shouldn’t have a government printer with expensive equipment, which they can’t use. According to available information, Government Printers has got everything that ECZ is looking for.”

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