Tuesday’s local Govt poll was a scandal – Musenge
By Staff Reporter
We have no time to petition Tuesday’s poll, says National Democratic Congress secretary general Mwenya Musenge.
Following the opposition party’s poor performance in the just-ended local government by-elections, Musenge stated in a press release on Thursday that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) should strengthen and rebuild its capacity to handle the country’s electoral process.
“Rebuilding the capacity of the ECZ is the only way that will enhance the credibility of this important institution. Tuesday’s local Government by elections in all the 16 wards was nothing but a complete scandal,” Musenge charged. ”
“The elections did not meet all the requirements for a credible, free and fair poll. The entire political campaigns in all the five regions country wide where these polls had been held were marred by vote buying, harassment, violence and intimidation.”
He alleged that this act of manipulation was undertaken by the desperate PF regime.
“And the ECZ is fully aware. Reports were availed to the electoral body. The PF spent a lot of government resources to ensure that they bought their so called ‘victory’. In civilised western democracies, these elections should have been nullified. Results in wards where these polls were held have left the electorates more bewildered than before,” Musenge claimed. “The entire campaign period might have temporarily ‘brought food’ on the tables in many household’s, but reality has dawned and people have gone back to their old ways, complaining about the high cost of living and intolerance exhibited by this treacherous regime.”
He further stated that the ECZ is not doing fine in the area of voter sensitisation awareness campaigns.
“Literacy levels are evidently low particularly in the country side where voters are easily cheated and deceived.
The aspect of voter sensitization is one area that needs to be revamped under the ECZ. We need genuine civil society groupings to dwell more on this aspect,” Musenge observed. “The electorates need more awareness and information on electoral fraud and malpractice. Its unfair, that most voter’s are victimized and intimidated before polling day.
In the last 24 hours, we as a party have closely and deeply reflected on our performance in Tuesdays poll. For us, it is not the NDC that has lost, it is the people of Zambia who have ultimately been dribbled, duped and robbed.”
He stated that the challenges that people go through on a daily basis have not been wiped away after voting for the PF.
“Voting for the PF in Tuesday’s poll has not reduced the price of bread nor has the price of water and energy been slashed. As NDC, we understand our people and we want them to draw serious lessons from Tuesdays poll.
As NDC, we have no time to petition this poll,” stated Musenge. “As NDC, we are not discouraged. We stand strong, firm and more than determined and resolved than ever…Rome was not built in a day. The struggle that the NDC has embarked upon is worse a long, tedious journey. Its tough and more dangerous than the apartheid struggle. But against all odds, our struggle will not take decades. Come 2021, NDC, will have a very big share of the results.