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MUKUNI CAN’T BE TRUSTED – YALI

THERE is no doubt that Senior Chief Mukuni is an anarchist and politician hiding behind the well of the chieftaincy to protect the riches they made when they acquitred the asserts in Livingstone during the privitisation process, Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has said.
YALI Governance advisor Isaac Mwanza said Senior Chief Mukuni cannot be said to be speaking for his people and the people of Zambia who look forward to have an empowered Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) which is capable of delivering free and fair elections in 2021.
Mr Mwanza said “What Senior Chief Mukuni must know is that once the ECZ is not adequately funded or is funded with strings attached from the international community, he will be the first one to cry foul when it shows some incapacity and inefficiency to deliver electoral results.
“We are saddened with the statement given by Senior Chief Mukuni of the Toka Leya calling for the donor community to withhold funding to the Electoral Commission of Zambia. What Senior Chief Mukuni and his erstwhile colleagues are looking forward to is to have a commission that will fail to deliver better results so they can have an excuse to mount a violent campaign against the government.
“Senior Chief Mukuni is also looking forward to a situation where the ECZ must become under the direction and control of foreigners who will give stringent conditions. On its own, this will weaken the autonomy of the ECZ and it will be the senior chief and his opposition business partner who will be the first one to cry against loss of autonomy,” he said.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Mwanza reminded the traditional leader that his own poor people in his chiefdom were looking forward to exercise their democratic rights to vote and to have their vote count in 2021.
He said the fact that Senior Chief Mukuni had neglected his people in his pursuit for wealth and expensive cars does not mean his people would want to have difficulties in exercising their right to vote next year.
Mr Mwanza asked Senior Chief Mukuni to sober up and begin to look at the bigger picture which would help Zambia’s democratic process because being an anarchist would not help deliver a credible 2021 election.
Senior Chief Mukuni in his statement demanded that the donor community withholds funding to the ECZ until it adhered to benchmarks that would deliver a credible election next year.
Senior Chief Mukuni was concerned that unless stringent conditions were laid out to ensure that the ECZ adhered to specific benchmarks that guarantee delivery of credible elections, the efforts of the donor community would be a wasted effort.
He demanded that the ECZ should not discard the current voter register, work with the Ministry of Home Affairs in the issuance of National Registration Cards and bring to an end hate speech and political violence.
Last month, the United Nations Development Programme and its cooperating partners among them European Union, USAID and Germany in collaboration with ECZ launched the “Strengthening Democracy in Zambia” project providing financial support to building capacity and strengthen inclusive participation ahead of next year’s poll.

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