By PETER SICHALI
HAKAINDE Hichilema’s complaint to the AU and SADC on the electoral process is deliberately designed to draw international sympathy and as well create a negative narrative against the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), former UPND presidential advisor Richard Kachingwe has said.
Major Kachingwe said Mr Hichilema’s futile attempt to cast aspersions on the electoral process was for feeble players who were scared of losing. “This is Mr Hichilema’s last attempt at running for office of President. He will thus do everything in order to attempt getting to State House using the back door. “Unfortunately such tactics do not work in Zambia.
Elections are won through the ballot and no one should ever insinuate rigging because it’s not possible for anyone to rig elections in Zambia under the current electoral system,” Maj Kachingwe said. He said Mr Hichilema’s wild election rigging claims based on the voter’s registration distribution was an indication that he has already conceded defeat.
Maj Kachingwe said Mr Hichilema “vigorously” called for the ECZ to commence the registration of voters, but soon after the exercise started, he made a complete u-turn and championed an aggressive agenda to discredit the registration process. “It is no rocket science that this impacted on turnout of his supporters as some believed the process was going to be cancelled. He must thus own up to his actions,” he said. He said Mr Hichilema’s claims were not sincere because statistics show that provinces perceived to be UPND strongholds had the highest number of registration machines. He said Southern Province had 308, Western 289, Eastern 288, Northern 244, Central 236, Copperbelt 227, Luapula 217, Lusaka 202, Muchinga 182 and North-Western 180 machines. Maj Kachingwe said the low registration figures in his perceived strongholds had nothing to do with the work of the state.
He said Mr Hichilema must instead undertake a self-introspection to check where he had been getting it wrong in the past five times that he has stood for elections. He said it was clear that supporters in his strongholds were fatigued with his several attempts at the Presidency and wish for a change because he had ceased to inspire them.
Maj Kachingwe said the people in Southern, Western, North-Western and parts of Central Province were part of Zambia and had realised that they were being used by Mr Hichilema and UPND to champion a narrow sectarian agenda. “They now seek development and are ready to move with the ruling party. The low turnout in terms of voter registration is a show of no confidence in the leadership of Mr. Hichilema.