Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) President Rueben Lifuka has cautioned the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to take seriously allegations of corruption raised against the Universal Printing Group (UPG) of South Africa by Former Kabwata Member of Parliament (MP) Given Lubinda as the claims are serious and need to be addressed urgently.
Lifuka who was speaking in Lusaka on Wednesday afternoon said the allegations have the potential to affect the smooth management of the forthcoming polls if not handled well.
He noted that Lubinda’s claims must be taken into consideration as they could compromise the country’s electoral process and affect the legitimacy of the election outcome.
Lifuka stated that Zambian democracy cannot afford the luxury of massive voter apathy and if efforts to clear the public growing perception are not made most of the electorate may stay away from voting.
He advised ECZ to strive at all times to be an institution whose conduct is above board in order to inspire confidence in all political players and voters.
Lifuka charged that the electoral body must realise that it is critical to the nation’s democratic consolidation process, therefore, allegations of corruption or impropriety involving either ECZ or any of its suppliers of goods and services have the potential to lower the image of the institution in the eyes of Zambians.
He also castigated the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for its inconsistency in the manner it is handling the allegations made by Lubinda, adding that Commission’s conduct leaves much to be desired.
Lifuka appealed to ACC to remain focused on its mandate and provide leadership and act professionally on the matter.
The TIZ President urged ACC AND ECZ to have all necessary options in addressing the allegations on the table and come up with a solution that will satisfy the Zambian people.
Meanwhile, Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) Public Relations Manager John Nyawali said the commission will not investigate the claims of UPG’s corruption as it only learnt of the issue through the press.
Nyawali said ACC is already handling the matter therefore, DEC cannot institute parallel investigations as the Anti-Corruption Commission has the capacity to investigate the claims and present the findings.