The decision by the Electoral Commission of Zambia to suspend election campaigns in Lusaka and Namwala is illegal and totally unacceptable.
The Law clearly stipulates that individual candidates/parties that abrogate the Electoral Code of Conduct by engaging in electoral fraud such as political violence must be penalised. Therefore it is wrong for ECZ to sanction us the victims of violence by putting up a blanket suspension on campaigns. Instead of inconveniencing innocent candidates/parties, ECZ must sanction the individual candidates/parties that are engaging themselves in electoral violence. You cannot punish innocent people for the wrongs of others. This is a grave miscarriage of justice.
Furthermore, Article 28(2) of the Electoral Process Act No.35 of 2016 which ECZ has cited as a legal basis for suspending campaigns in Lusaka and Namwala does not give ECZ any powers to suspend political campaigns. So what ECZ has done is illegal and we as FDD will seek legal redress.
It is abundantly evident that ECZ is no longer serving the interest of the general public but those of the Ruling Party. ECZ is acting as an appendage of the Ruling Party. Even in Dubai, ECZ has delayed the printing of the ballot papers to wait for one Ngosa Simbyakula to arrive. How can a national process come to a stand-still just because of one cadre?
Issued by Antonio Mwanza, FDD Spokesperson