For Immediate Release
30th September 2020
This afternoon the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party President Dr Chishimba Kambwili was supposed to attend a meeting called by the ZCID and the Electoral Commission of Zambia in regards to the Online Voter Registration.
But the meeting was called off at an eleventh hour.
Dr Kambwili was supposed to attend this meeting with NDC Vice President Rikki Josephs Akafumba, NDC Secretary General Bridget Atanga and Edward Mumbi NDC member of central committee, who is also Dr Kambwili’s Presidential spokesperson.
The duo who gathered at Dr Chishimba Kambwili’s residence by 13:00hrs were equally shocked that the meeting was canceled.
Dr Kambwili had this to say; Today is a very sad day, extremely sad day in the preparations of the 2021 general elections.
Yesterday the ECZ communicated to all political parties that they were going to meet stakeholders so that we can discuss the issue surrounding the online voter registration and the issue of doing away with the old voters register, all of us political parties were ready, I personally received a number of calls from fellow Presidents and Secretary General’s encouraging all of us to attend this important meeting, Dr Kambwili said.
The NDC leader further said NDC do understand that they are stakeholders and they must speak on behalf of the people of Zambia but unfortunately the ECZ communicated to all political parties at the eleventh hour that the meeting has been cancelled, and the reasons given was that this matter could not be discussed because there is a court case going on in which the UPND and some NGO’s have challenged the ECZ over these same issues of online voter registration and of cause the doing away with the old voters register.
Country men and women, should it only be sub judice when it favours the opposition, when it favours the ECZ or it favours the ruling government is not sub judice.
When there was the issue of Bill 10 the UPND did alude to the fact that we cannot continue considering bill number 10 because there is a matter before court, but the Patriotic Front through its lawyers and parliament refused totally and went ahead and considered bill 10 despite the fact that the matter was in court and it was tantamount to sub judice.
In my case when I was removed from parliament as Roan member of parliament, my case was in court, but the speaker went ahead and declared my seat vacant despite the fact that the matter was in court, so when government is involved it’s not sub judice unless the opposition is involved.
And if the ECZ are saying we cannot have a meeting to discuss the issue of the electoral process because the matter is in court then they should stop the online voter registration because it’s also sub judice, why should it be good for them to go ahead and continue the voter which is a bone of contention and refuse to meet the stakeholders on pretence that it’s sub judice, I don’t know we’re this country is going, said the NDC leader.
Today could have been an opportunity for all of us to be heard and obviously resolve the issues surrounding the online voter registration, but somebody somewhere has engineered that this meeting should not go on.
Almost all the opposition political party President’s I spoke to were ready to attend this meeting and these issues could have been resolved in an amicably way. But I think they are trying to play hide and seek so that they can convince those who have gone to court to withdraw the case and at the end of it they don’t resolve the issues, this is not good for Zambia, please Mr Esau Chulu, My dear brother Patrick Nshindano respect the views of the Zambian people, for once do the right thing, surely you want to go down in history as the people who set the country on fire, issues of elections are very sensitive.
I am glad that President Edgar Lungu came out openly to state that he does not also support the doing away of the old voters register, we welcome that President Lungu and this is the way it should be, surely if you are coming out like that, who would want to oppose you or attack you, well-done Mr President , but you can go further than that by engaging the ECZ to tell them to announce that the old register will still be valid.
You cannot capture 9 million people in 30 days it’s practically impossible and this is our cry and the law is very clear on continuous voter registration, it says they shall be continuous voter registration, why do you want to bring your own law and cancel the old register.
Today we have missed an opportunity yet again in this country to seat round the table and discuss as Zambians.
Dr Kambwili has since appealed to the ECZ that it’s not too late but call for this meeting tomorrow.
And all stakeholders holders including NGO’s and Churches should be part of this meeting. But if you have refused to hold this meeting then stop the online voter registration so that it’s 50/50, Kambwili said.
Issued by: *Kirby Kaoma Musonda* NDC Deputy Media Director