A consortium of all civil society networks and alliances involved in elections in the 15 member Southern African Development Community (SADC) has urged the newly constituted Zambia Electoral Alliance (ZEA) to emulate the successful regional bodies that monitor and support elections in other countries.
The Southern African Development Community Electoral Support Network (SADC-ESN) said it was delighted that finally Zambia as a member state had finally constituted an alliance that would work as an expert board in its electoral process.
SADC-ESN board member MacDonald Chipenzi told the Daily Nation that the ZEA was expected to consolidate the electoral process in Zambia as it had been the wish for the SADC for all member countries to come up with organised electoral support networks.
Mr Chipenzi said Zambia had not performed very well in this area as loose alliances that had been formed in the past disbanded immediately after elections.
He said that it had not been helpful to a country whose electoral credentials had resonated across the African continent not to have a permanent network to deal with electoral issues.
“We have had a lot of issues before and after the elections in Zambia but no network had followed on such issues as most of the organisations disbanded immediately after an election. It has been a prayer of SADC-ESN that Zambia will emulate other SADC countries that have more organised civil society organisations dealing in election issues. The launch of ZEA is a prayer answered which will further concretize Zambia’s electoral credential,” Chipenzi said.
He said SADC-ESN had no doubt that alliance if well natured would be permanent electoral beacon in Zambia’s electoral process.
Mr Chipenzi said the SADC-ESN stood ready to support any such initiatives aimed at amalgamating likeminded civil society organisations in the furtherance of sound electoral process in the region as this would help the region create and easily identify a pool of electoral expertise.
Last week, a consortium of six civil society organisations constituted an alliance known as the Zambia Electoral Alliance (ZEA) with an effort to enhance civic and voter education and monitor the 2016 tripartite elections in Zambia with an effort to promote free and fair elections. The alliance which was non partisan said that apart from a robust regular election monitoring exercise, the team would also use the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) on sampled streams in order to authenticate the electoral results from the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).