ECZ urged to ‘bite’

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has been urged to be sanctioning government officials for using public resources during campaigns and party meetings, says Southern African Centre for Conflict Resolution (SACCORD) executive director Boniface Cheembe.

He said SACCORD was concerned at the abuse of public resources during campaigns and party meeting by some government officials.

“We take note of the fact that whenever there were pending by elections, government officials have been spotted using public resources and such matters have gone unreported and were not condemned,” Mr Cheembe said.

Mr Cheembe who is also a Political Science lecturer at the University of Zambia (UNZA) said ECZ must take note of what government uses during campaigns and party meetings.

He cited the case of PF vice president Guy Scott who recently travelled to Siavonga and PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba when he travelled to Chipata for party meetings.

Mr Cheembe said it was not fair for senior government officials to be using public resources on party activities when the country had many challenges to deal with.

And Mr Cheembe has advised Members of Parliament from the ruling party to be sober whenever debating the President Michael Sata’s visit to Israel.

Mr Cheembe said President Sata was a father of the nation and Zambians were his sons and daughters who had the right to know government’s official position on his health status and visit to Israel.

“Even as the MPs debate on President Sata’s trip, we would like to advise them to remain sober and help build confidence in Zambians and the investors by giving a clear position of the status of the head of state,” Mr Cheembe said.

He said it was important that the health of the head of state was treated openly in order to avoid speculation.

“Government must be truthful enough by giving official information on the head of State so that as a nation we are constructive in the manner in which we deliberate national issues,” Mr Cheembe said.

He said SACCORD was hoping that government would give a clear position on the health status of the head of State.