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Dear Editor,

In the orderly and emerging Democratic societies such as Zambia, the institutions entrusted to perform public functions are to be given their autonomy.

Moreover, all the citizens irrespective of how powerful they may be must ensure they submit to the authority that is conferred on the institutions. This responsibility is even greater to individuals that are aspiring to hold public office, especially the highest office  such as UPND president Hakainde Hichilema who is attempting for the sixth time to redeem his perpetual loss.

In this electoral charged season, one of the institutions that has risen to prominence is the Electoral Commission of Zambia. The Commission is granted the necessary autonomy in the administration of electoral activities and other related processes.

We have seen a number of comments from the UPND and its cohorts  which seeks to undermine the integrity of the institution or create doubt that it had no ability to deliver the free and fair elections. We have seen open defiance from the UPND of the administrative decisions that has been made by the Commission and senior ECZ officials are subject of constant ridicule and name calling in some sections of social media.

Some few weeks ago, the Electoral Commission of Zambia deemed it appropriate to invoke its powers to impose an indefinite suspension of the Patriotic Front and another opposition party in Namwala, Lusaka, and Mpulungu.

Of course we might have our own view and misgivings regarding the decision by ECZ, but it was prudent to respect its decision. Later, the ECZ in its discretion suspended PF founding member Chishimba Kambwili from engaging in all political activities until further notice.

While the decision of the commission had political implications against PF  owing to the role that was assigned to the former NDC president, we elected to respect the decision of the Commission though we did not agree with its interpretation of the law. We did not go to the media or to they streets to undermine the institutional integrity of the Commission as a way of expressing our displeasure.

Marvin Chanda Mberi.


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