YALI doubts credibility of 2011 election results

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has joined other election stakeholders doubting the credibility of the 2011 general elections results following revelation by Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Wynter Kabimba that he smuggled Kenyan nationals to illegally participate in the country’s electoral process.

YALI president Andrew Ntewewe has challenged the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to clear its name by summoning Mr Kabimba who is the acting President so that he could explain what role the Kenyan nationals played in the 2011 general elections.

Mr Ntewewe said elections were an integral part of democracy and good governance and that any doubt about their credibility and fairness was puncturing the very democratic values that made governments legitimate.

He said the fact that Zambians were questioning the credibility of the 2011 general elections results had put the ECZ on the spot and it was imperative for the commission to exonerate itself by asking the ruling party to explain itself.

He stated that free and fair elections were the only means of having a legal and legitimate government and cautioned that the confession by Mr Kabimba had the potential to undermine the peace and political stability of the country.

Mr Ntewewe explained that the ECZ as an arbiter in the country’s electoral process should always avoid falling into the temptation of being partisan but endeavour to remain autonomous and devoid of electoral corruption.

He said it was unfortunate that the commission did not have power to summon and prosecute people who were perpetrating electoral malpractice.

“We believe that credible elections are very important because they help people take up leadership positions that are why they must be free and fair at all levels. The media must adequately cover all the political parties and their aspiring candidates. But with the revelations by Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba that he smuggled Kenyans into Zambia to illegally participate in the country’s electoral process has effectively punctured the credibility of the 2011 election results,” Mr Ntewewe said.

He said YALI had been carrying out the Parallel Vote Tabulation for a long time and that it was shocking that the ruling party had to involve foreigners to help them with PVT when there were many Zambians who could have done it.

Mr Ntewewe called for the full revision of the electoral laws because the current electoral system was susceptible to abuse and manipulation.