PF cadres yesterday vented their venom on Electoral commission of Zambia (ECZ) officials who they followed at a lodge in Kapiri Mposhi accusing them of scheming to rig the forthcoming bye election in favour of the opposition UPND and threatened to beat them up in full view of state police.
The event occured at Namakuba Inn when ECZ commissioners Judge Esau Zulu and Minniver Tembo in the company of other senior ECZ officials went to have lunch during the nominations exercise for the Kapiri Mposhi seat.
Sources at the lodge told the watchdog that the incident was very embarrassing. “These commissioners were our clients and it was very bad that thugs in the name of the ruling party would come and harrass them in that manner, these are not only eminent persons but old enough to be their parents,” said the source.
The source further disclosed that the youths told the commissioners that they were aware that the ECZ wanted to rig in favour of the opposition but they were not moved by the cadres’ bad conduct.
And further Zambian Watchdog investigations reveal that the party youths led by a known PF thug by the name of Kabwe were angered after senior PF officials in Lusaka told them that the commissioners had complained about Tourism and Arts minister Sylvia Masebo’s breach of the electoral laws by allowing cadres beyond the 400m exclusion area of the nomination centre. Masebo personally sent them to go and sort out the commissioners wherever they were.
“After word about honourable Masebo’s conduct reached the party bosses in Lusaka, they were uncomfortable and it is like some central committee members were unhappy and condemned the madam so she orderd that the youths look for the commissioners to teach them a lesson, they went to the nomination centre but did not find them so they followed them at their lodge and started insulting them.
And PF sources comfirmed to the Zambian Watchdog that the ECZ was annoyed with the cadres’ behaviour and at one point even threatened to postpone the elections as they fear there would be violence like it was in the Livingstone polls.
Following the incident the Commissioners called for an emergency elections briefing during which they threatened to postpone this election also but the parties pleaded with them and promised that there would be peace during campaigns.