Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) President Charles Milupi says his party is reorganizing itself, recruiting new members and reflecting on its mistakes in the September 20 polls in preparation for the 2016 elections.
Speaking to the watchdog, Milupi said he is delighted with his party’s performance in the last election as it is a clear indication of the strength that ADD has.
He expressed happiness at the fact that citizens will now begin to judge ADD fairly based on its policies as the party has plans that have a good foundation.
Milupi noted that 2011 elections were negative as he believes Zambians did not vote for individuals because of what they could deliver but citizens went to the polls to get rid of the Movement for Multi party Democracy (MMD).
Commenting on the credibility of the polls, the ADD leader charged that the elections were not free and fair as MMD was utilizing public funds starting from the run up of the dissolution of the past parliament.
Milupi said opposition was caught unaware when election date was announced and were only given less than 50 days to campaign as opposed to the usual 90 days which was unfair for individuals in the opposition as they had little time to source for campaign funds.
He also noted that lack of equal coverage from the press for all political parties was a great challenge as most media was polarized and favored the ruling party.
Furthermore, Milupi condemned the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for allowing malpractices and irregularities in the election process.
He said ECZ permitted manipulation of the process as it decided to ignore the serious corruption allegations leveled against Universal Printing Group (UPG), the South African Company that printed Zambia’s ballot papers.
Milupi said it is vital that ECZ works independently and at no time should it be decentralized as desired by Chairperson Justice Irene Mambilima.
The ADD president noted that ECZ should seek greater freedom and funding that will only be achieved through a vote from parliament.
He appealed to the Patriotic Front (PF) government to ensure ECZ works separate from parliament and appoints honorable individuals who will for the benefit of the people and not to facilitate the victory of their preferred candidate.
Milupi advised PF not to be tied down by the 90days promise but get to the drawing board and focus achieving meaningful development in the next 5 years.
He said there is need for all political players to work together and ensure the country is put right as opposed to always criticizing those in power.
Milupi noted the PF must heed to the advice of the opposition where necessary as the era of a strong man is long gone in Africa and worldwide.
He said it is vital that government systems are in place so that democracy is entrenched as Zambia is a multi party state.
Milupi urged the new regime to it establishes a peace and reconciliation commission as it will help in the fight against corruption.
He said the commission will identify wrongs and individuals that erred will be forgiven because reconciliation can only happen when there is recognition of wrongs.
Milupi further said the commission will go a long way in making sure there is peace and stability in the nation as citizens will be satisfied with the findings and remain calm.