United Party for National Development (UPND) Secretary General Batuke Imenda has smelt a rat in the verification process of the Grade 12 results by the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ), which he said is taking long for the largest opposition Aspiring Candidates.
Mr. Imenda fears that papers of the UPND Aspiring Candidates may be sabotaged by the authorities because of the unnecessary holdups.
Meanwhile, UPND Mobilisation Chairperson Silvia Masebo says the party must have backup candidates to replace those that may be disadvantaged by the authorities ahead of the August 12th General Elections.
Speaking when he received defectors from PF whom he termed as ambassadors of change, Mr Batuke said the verification process for grade 12 results is taking a snail pace for UPND candidates which raises a lot of concerns.
He said UPND Candidates coming from far areas are feeling the heat of the delays.
“Our members are facing challenges in the verification process of the grade 12 results because they are standing in long queues without being attended to. This is raising fears that their papers may be sabotaged by the authorities,” he complained.
Asked to clarify his statement, Mr. Imenda said, “We are making reference to the time the verification process is taking. Some people are coming from far phased rural areas and they are staying for two to three days to have their certificates verified. That is a real concern.”
He maintained the party’s stance of extending the adoption date to 26 March 2021 to allow aspiring candidates to verify their grade 12 certificates.
Mr Imenda also has announced that the party has reduced application fees for councillors to K50 for rural areas and K150 for urban councils.
And Ms Masebo urged aspiring candidates to provide authenticate grade 12 results to avoid being inconvenienced.
She said it is important to note that following the Constitutional Court ruling, candidates must have grade 12 certificates even if they have higher education documents despite the move being a fraud and aimed at disadvantaging certain people.
“We should have backup candidates in all the Constituencies so that if a preferred candidate is disadvantaged, we easily replace them because we are dealing with criminals,” she stated.
And speaking earlier, former PF Kanyama Youth Chairperson John Njobvu who led a good number of ambassadors of change in joining the UPND said it is unfortunate that his former party duped young people on the Youth Empowerment Fund (YEF).
He said a number of youths are languishing in Kanyama Compound without stable jobs, the situation that has increased crime in the area.
“The PF promised young people that they will be empowered with Youth Empowerment Fund but that was just lie. Today, most youths are languishing in Kanyama Compound without jobs. They have resorted to drugs and other illicit activities. It is our prayer that bally(Hakainde Hichilema) will give them jobs once he is elected,” he said.
And Mr Imenda thanked the youth for making a decision of joining the UPND which he said is a party of choice.
“There is no reason to despair because our Moses, haikainde Hichilema is coming to give you hope,” he said.
He acknowledged the fact that Kanyama is the most important Constituency for the UPND as it has amassed the largest number of registered voters.
“We have to increase numbers because we want to win big. If we win big, there is no way they are going to manipulate our votes,” he said, “In the last elections, 2015 and 2016, they managed to manipulate our votes because we did not win big.”