Zambia needs an independent electoral body to run and manage the electoral system faultlessly, says People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti.
In an interview, Mr. Mulongoti said that the corruption in the electoral system of the country was worrying as it was being perpetuated by those in the ruling party.
He said that blaming the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) in its current form was unjustifiable as those in power seemed to be above the law.
“Why should we blame the ECZ in its current form? We have not given them powers to bite, the only thing we need to do during the ongoing constitutional making process is to ensure that we demand for an independent electoral body which will deliver to the aspiration of the people of Zambia and not to have a commission which runs at the whims of political players,” said Mr. Mulongoti.
He has since challenged both the church, political players and other good governance stakeholders to speaking against anarchy perpetrated through un-credible and corrupt electoral acts such as the PF cadre who was arrested distributing over K13 million in exchange for voters cards in Kapiri Mposhi.
Mr. Mulongoti has also appealed to the Police to act firmly in such cases, as it was theft of birth rights as enshrined in the constitution of the country, on the process of choosing leaders to govern at a particular time.
Mr. Mulongoti said that there was an urgent need for the people of Zambia to empower ECZ to nullify election results for the candidate and the party that abrogates the electoral code of conduct.
He said that the reforms that were being demanded in institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), the Zambia Police and the Judiciary should also be extended to ECZ in order to have a credible electoral process in the country.
Mr. Mulongoti observed that the major challenge was on the political leadership especially those in power now as they were taking advantage of the weak electoral system of the country and end up abusing it.
“As I always been saying, having an independent electoral commission is something desirable in order to have a credible electoral system in the country because there will be no political interference unlike the current situation where results can be delayed from being announed at the wish of those in power.
“You saw what happened with Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo. You cannot tell me that she was not aware about the code of conduct that she was supposed to do her politics 400 meters away from the polling station during the nominations of the Kapiri Mposhi by-election. But what did she do? She decided to go with the cadres into the nomination center with impunity,” he said.
He said that it was time that Zambians stood firm to and protect the current electoral system of the country from total abuse before their proposals in the final first draft report of the constitution could finally be enacted into law.
He said that the reforms the people of Zambia have been crying for should be cross cutting in various institutions of governance in order to protect the democracy and good governance record the country has built in a long while.
Mr. Mulongoti said that his party would always endeavor to promote and advocate for a corrupt free in order to have conflict free elections.