By SILUMESI MALUMO and SIMON MUNTEMBA
WE remain committed to work with all political parties and other stakeholders regarding the process leading to the 2021 general elections, The Electoral Commission Zambia (ECZ) has said.
Acting Public Relations Manager, Sylvia Bwalya, in a statement yesterday said the Commission would maintain an open-door policy.
She said the Commission would also continue encouraging political parties and other stakeholders to continue to collaborate with it on various matters about the electoral process.
Ms Bwalya also said, “The Commission would like to express its appreciation to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu and all the Political Party Presidents and their Secretary Generals for attending the Presidential Summit that was held at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre on Thursday 8th October, 2020.”
The Commission, she said, would also like to commend all the Political Party Presidents for the valuable input on the various pertinent issues that were discussed during the summit.
“Furthermore, the Commission wishes to thank representatives of Church Mother Bodies and other faith-based organisations who attended the Summit as Observers. Going forward, there will be many of such summits and it is our hope that Political Party Leaders will be gracious enough to find time to attend,” she said.
Meanwhile, Economic and Equity Party (EEP) has said there is need for all political parties in Zambia to have faith in the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and not antagonize it unnecessarily.
EEP vice president, Stacy Musanya said her party disagreed with the political parties that had walked out of the consultative meeting on operationalization of the right to vote for persons in lawful Custody.
Ms Musanya who attended the consultative meeting with ECZ to find a way of actualising the order by the court that prisoners should be voting, has urged opposition political parties not argue for the sake of arguing.
She said in a statement that some opposition political parties walked out of the meeting for cheap politicking when ECZ invited them as stakeholders to make submissions so that they could move in the same direction.
“I beg to disagree with the political parties that walked out of the consultative meeting accusing the commission of not having involved them during the process of the drafting. ECZ called us so that we could be involved to make changes and add to the draft that they presented.
“I appeal to all political parties to have faith in the commission. The commission is trying to be as consultative as possible, let us not try to be irrelevant even where things are straight forward,” Ms Musanya said
Let us not antagonize ECZ unnecessarily, she said, rather let’s give them support because prisoners voting is a court order.
She said there was need for political parties to work with the commission in making the electoral process fair.