Speak out ECZ, Immigration

Although the proverb; ‘Silence is Golden’ eventually resolves a misunderstanding when one is falsely accused, the circumstances under which the Electoral Commission of Zambia and the Department of Immigration find themselves in appear different and cannot be resolved by the two institutions keeping quiet.

Last week, while in the Eastern Province, the Secretary General of the Patriotic Front (PF) Wynter Kabimba made revelations that in 2011, he smuggled through Nakonde border some Kenyans who helped the opposition political party then to conduct the Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT).

The PF won those September 2011 Presidential and General elections.

It should be noted that in the 2011 elections, the ECZ banned all political parties from conducting PVT.

During the same Eastern tour, Mr Kabimba further said that had the MMD retained power, he would have been in jail.

Mr Kabimba was and is still a senior lawyer who was speaking about his adventures in the 2011 tripartite elections.

But of interest is why Mr Kabimba said all those things about his role in the 2011 election if he was within the prescribed electoral and Immigration laws.

And why would the PF strongman talk about smuggling foreigners into Zambia if those were people who would easily be cleared by the Immigration Department?

Our take is that Mr Kabimba was simply telling Zambians that we have a porous electoral system in Zambia which can be abuse by people who had the necessary skills like the Kenyans who were brought into the country illegally.

Surely, can the PF chief executive officer argue that Zambians are incapable of conducting PVT for him to employ the skills of some foreign nations?

Unless, there is a reasonable explanation from the PF, we can only assume that those Kenyans were not ordinary people but were knowledgeable experts in the conduct of elections.

This is the reason why we cannot argue much against the analysis of various stakeholders who participated in the 2011 tripartite elections.

There was certainly a convincing reason for the PF to settle for the Kenyans and the reason why the opposition party then did not want them cleared by the Department of Immigration.

As we have said, keeping quiet will neither resolve the mischief that Mr Kabimba involved himself in nor legitimise his action.

We are urging the ECZ to tell the nation whether the PF were within the prescribed Electoral laws to conduct the PVT using foreigners who were not even accredited.

The Immigration Department should also tell Zambians whether the smuggling of foreigners into Zambia is the new Government policy.

If the two institutions opt to remain mute, we wonder what else is in the offering in the 2016 elections, seeing that Mr Kabimba will still be the chief executive officer of the ruling party.