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BUILDING CONFIDENCE IN OUR DEMOCRATIC PROCESS

Dear Editor,

IN Zambia there are sufficient institutions with legal mandate and with unmatched ability to deliver a free and fair election. 

The institutions have institutional mandate and will which has been above reproach even in instances were opinionated sectors of society have waged a marathon to dilute the confidence reposed in them by the Zambian people on whose behalf they guard our inherently peaceful electoral atmosphere.

It is shocking that some cross section mostly UPND-aligned stakeholders have dragged the Patriotic Front (PF) in their warfare with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). 

While it is within their right to pursue grievances including expressing their subjective beliefs on the conduct of the elections, this should be done with patriotism and in a Zambian centred manner.

As opposed to finding collective ways of delivering a peaceful post-election, there is a contingent of the specially selected citizens who have resorted to psychological warfare and preparing the public for possible election disputes once the victory of President Edgar Lungu and PF is confirmed.

Having the Zambia we want in mind, every contestant must constantly remind themselves that in a democratic process, losers must concede defeat and the winners must embrace the losers.

While the electoral body is consistently accused of bias, we do not think that the bias Electoral Commission would have been at the centre of the change of governments in 1991 and 2011.

How then did President Michael Sata manage to unseat then Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) with a number of constituencies remaining uncounted in Western Province? This rhetorical issue of bias is unfounded and it is not informed by any evidence.

We can only urge the UPND to put a spirited fight as this would give the most rejected Presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema a dignified retirement if he conceded defeat.

The electoral process has been conducted in a transparent manner considering the timeline from voter registration up until this far where stakeholder engagement has been the nature of the ECZ.

Even in the tight schedule, there has been no disregard of the electoral procedures. For instance, in February, 2021, the ECZ made available the provisional voter’s register which was available for objections and verification.

Recently, the ECZ announced that a number of objections were heard and determined before compiling the final voter’s roll.

 We challenge the opponents of our electoral process to state and inform the nation how many objections they made to the voter’s register.

We wish to express unflinching confidence in the electoral process and have no doubt the realisation of the successful election is soon to be a reality.

MARVIN CHANDA MBERI,

Lusaka.

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