In what looks like a clear case of desperation, The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) in conjunction with Office of the President (OP) Special Division is holding selected Presiding & Returning Officers from across the country to be used as ECZ witnesses in the ongoing Presidential Petition against their will at various secret locations (Hotels) in Lusaka.
Yesterday morning, 31st August 2016, there was a meeting at Golden Peacock Hotel chaired by a Mr. Chellah who identified himself as ECZ Deputy Chairperson, revealed an OP operative close to the Operation.
The Agent who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the selected Presiding and Returning Officers were already gathered at Golden Peacock hotel and that the purpose of the meeting was to persuade the POs and ROs to change their earlier statements and drill them on what to say following the Constitutional Court’s setting of Friday, 2nd September 2016 as the day for commencement of trial.
In a video availed to us, the visibly scared POs and ROs raised concerns about their own safety and security to the ECZ deputy Chair who assured them that the best plain clothes security (op) has been arranged.
The Electoral Officers were concerned with the reported suspicious suicide of one RO and others who have reportedly disappeared mysteriously and brought the concern to the ecz deputy chair who bluntly just encouraged everyone to cooperate with the operation.
This prompted the OP officers to order them not to communicate with anyone using SMS or phone calls but inform their next of kin using WhatsApp that they were safe. The Operatives assured the POs and ROs that WhatsApp was secure with end to end encryption.
The Electoral Officers were later shipped to a Secure House within Lusaka where they will be held hostage and told what to say in court until they appear (in court).
It was further revealed in the meeting that ECZ was on course in their negotiations with certain NGOs to testify in favor of ECZ citing the contemptuous backing of the Commission by some named NGOs via ZNBC and the recent suspension of FODEP President as testimony of their work.
The panic levels among top ranking government officials and ECZ are very high resulting in this harshly hatched Operation which breaches the normal secure procedures of such a highly sensitive Operation.
Other than the comfort of staying in luxurious places, the good food and beer they are taking and the promise of security, non of the POs and ROs has a full idea of the total reward for their being coerced accomplices to this state criminality.
A team of top interrogation specialists and psychologists has been assembled to cross examine (kind of examination in chief) the Electoral Officers who are ready to give false testimony under oath with the view of exposing them.
The Constitutional Court Judges are working under extreme pressure as they realize that this test they have been subjected to is of global character and their verdict will set a landmark precedence not only to Africa but to the world as a whole