United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has vowed that his party will go ahead and conduct the Parallel Vote Tabulation in this year’s elections whether the Electoral Commission of Zambia and Government like it or not.
Hichilema says his party has been winning the by-elections because they have been using the parallel vote tabulation.
He said the PVT will help avoiding the manipulation of election results and will ensure that only correct results are announced by the ECZ.
He explained that no one disputes that the ECZ is the only body mandated to announce election results but that other observers should be entitled to also record the results and compare whether the results being announced are the correct ones or not.
Hichilema wondered why the Electoral Commission of Zambia is afraid of allow the PVT if they are confident of conducting a free and fair election.
He adds that those afraid of the PVT are the ones that want to manipulate the election results.
Hichilema added that the MMD in 1991 benefited from the PVT conducted by the Carter Centre but are now afraid of the PVT for fear of losing the election.
The UPND leader was speaking on a programme on Joy FM this morning.
Hichilema also appealed to citizens to remain focused during elections and realise the dream of a better Zambia.
Hichilema said there is need for people to work together and not polarize each other because they would pay the price of disunity in future.
He noted that the nation wants directional change, adding that it can only be achieved if the country get rid of recycled leaders.
The UPND leader said the electorate should scrutinise aspiring candidates and choose individuals with fresh ideas not old politicians who have just changed jackets (political parties) to cover up their failures.
Hichilema castigated African heads of state for their tendency of clinging to power almost forever even when their mandates are over.
He cited examples of Egyptian and Ivorian Presidents Hosni Mubarak and Laurent Gbagbo who had to wait to be ousted to leave office and said such is embarrassing so leaders should go away graciously.
He observed that politics is about doing the right thing for the sake of future generations and posterity and not the current trend of character assassination.
Meanwhile, the UPND leader charged that majoritarian rule is what the country needs as it would allow for effective and efficient service to the people b y those in government.
Hichilema said there is need to push for the 50%+1 electoral system and ensure the presidential aspirants have running mates in order to cut down on election costs in the event that an incumbent president dies.
He however, implored Zambians not to assume the role of God by suggesting that their preferred candidate is the best but allow his (God) choice to win.
Hichilema said the electorate should avoid being emotionally attached to aspirants and shun politics of tribalism.
He urged citizens to cast away negative perceptions and shift from the culture of electing individuals because of their names as names have no value as what maters is the content one has to offer.
Hichilema appealed to fellow politicians to learn to co-exist and be courteous towards one another.
He further said Zambians should work to ensure elections are free and fair and encouraged the populace to carefully follow politician’s activities to allow for consistency.