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Respect governance bodies, politicians told

By SILUMESI MALUMO
POLITICAL stakeholders need to respect and support state institutions that are mandated with the important role of managing elections, The Authentic Advocates for Justice and Democracy has said.

Public Relations Director, Samuel Banda, said institutions such as the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) were cardinal to the democratic dispensation of the country.
He said in a statement yesterday, any allegations of impropriety or fraud can render the entire electoral process null and void.
Mr. Banda since advised MMD president Nevers Mumba to report any allegations of impropriety and fraud to the relevant authorities for action to be taken, rather than playing to the gallery and using the press to alarm the nation.
“We view Dr Nevers Mumba’s attempt to taint the ECZ with unsubstantiated allegations as a serious affront to our democracy and we wish to condemn this in the strongest terms. Allegations that the recently held by-elections in Lukashya were rigged are very serious and have the potential to disturb the peace we enjoy in this country.”
He however hailed the ECZ for introducing online registration.
“We are living in a digital world now, and it is inevitable that most processes will involve some level of information communication tech-nologies. We as citizens of Zambia, and political stakeholders alike, will have to adapt to this new age we are living in.
Online voter registration is going to be the norm the world over, and we would like to commend the ECZ for taking the important step of introducing it to Zambia. We, however, would like to advise ECZ to conduct more voter education and awareness on the online voter registration to allay fears of fraud, and build confidence in the process.” he said.
Mr Banda said his organisation believed engaging with relevant stakeholders such as political parties would also reduce suspicions and ensure the electoral process was embraced by everyone.

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