By KETRA KALUNGA
THE 2021 general elections have already been rigged owing to the manner in which the National Registration Card issuance exercise and the Voter Registration process were unfairly conducted, United Party for National Development (UPND) spokesperson, Charles Kakoma has claimed.
And Mr Kakoma said the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) should change the alleged narrative and fairness in the August elections, saying that other countries had ended up in civil wars because of biasness in elections.
He said in an interview that as far as the UPND was concerned, the rigging of the upcoming elections by the Patriotic Front started long before the voter registration exercise.
Mr. Kakoma said it started with the issuance of NRCs which he claimed deliberately did not capture several first time voters in opposition strongholds.
He alleged that the process concentrated in the PF strongholds, in Northern and Eastern provinces.
Mr. Kakoma said it was a well-orchestrated plan for PF to have an inbuilt majority in the voting system while opposition strongholds could not get voter registration cards without NRCs.
“The rigging started a long time ago before we even went to voters’ registration, it started with the issuance of NRCs,” he said.
Mr Kakoma also said the voter registration process was biased as ECZ could not capture many voters in opposition strongholds because of reported faulty equipment to deliberately deny the people a chance to have the voter’s cards.
He said there were many excuses of faulty equipment and slow internet by ECZ officials working from opposition strongholds.
“It was a deliberate scheme to de-franchise a lot of our people,” said Mr Kakoma.
Mr Kakoma also urged the ECZ to ensure a free, fair and credible election as that was what would ensure that the country had peace after the elections.
He said when a political party including the opposition loses an election fairly, they don’t protest hence the need for the ECZ to ensure peaceful, credible, free, and fair elections.
Mr. Kakoma said “many of the conflicts in Africa and the Third World arise from rigging elections so we must avoid that route and ECZ is the one that is going to help us to avoid conflict in our country.”