I’m no vote rigger, says VJ

Veteran Politician Vernon Mwaanga has maintained his innocence of being involved in any vote rigging at home or abroad.

Dr. Mwaanga said he was aware of the allegations made by some people that he was a master vote rigger, but denied being linked to rigging or vote buying in the electoral process of the country.

He said this during radio Phoenix’s  programme ; “Let the people talk” in Lusaka yesterday.

The former minister said even the court petitions made so far in the history of the country’s democracy, have never been linked to vote rigging.

“That shows that I have never been involved in vote rigging. To tamper with an electoral process is a serious offence because it undermines the views and the wishes of the Zambian people,” said Dr. Mwaanga.

He said that it was wrong for anyone to interfere with the electoral process of the country because it was criminal and against the wishes of the people.

“I would not want to interfere with the views and the wishes of the Zambian people for what I stand for. But I am capable of advising political parties that look, what you need to do is to campaign in a certain manner and organise the campaign strategy in this manner, like I have done to assist not only the MMD in this country but also one or two parties in the region in the previous election.

‘‘But I have never participated and tampered with the wishes of the people of this county and if I did, that would be terribly wrong and it will be a very serious offence and I don’t think that is the way I want to live,” Dr. Mwaanga.

And Dr. Mwaanga has called on Zambians to set aside their political grievances and participate in the golden jubilee celebrations.

Dr. Mwaanga said any grievances that people might have should not affect  Zambia’s 50 years of independence celebrations on October 24.

Dr Mwaanga said that those with grievances should find a different platform where they could be addressed.

He said there is need for the country to develop capacity to deal with conflict resolution within and among the people.

Dr. Mwaanga who was recently bestowed with a doctorate of philosophy in conflict resolution by the Copperbelt University encouraged Zambians to exhibit tolerance and to respect each other’s opinion.

He also urged Zambians to continue working hard adding that it was the only way in which Zambia could achieve economic development.

Dr. Mwaanga said the efforts that started years ago must continue even after 50 years of independence.

And on the crisis in the Middle East, Dr. Mwaanga expressed sadness saying that it was time concerned parties mediated over the matter.

He said that all warring parties should be committed to finding long lasting peace.

“I have been mediating between contending parties, I have mediated in the South African conflict, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Guine Bissau and Somalia and Sudan and in the Middle East.I have spent much of my time mediating and working for peace around the world. And it is only prudent that all concerned parties committee themselves to finding a lasting solution,” he said.