….ECZ must reveal assets for all other Presidential candidates
By GIDEON NYENDWA and GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) must reveal declared assets for President Hakainde Hichilema, former President Edgar Lungu and all the other candidates who participated in the Presidential election, former Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) Chairperson Bishop John Mambo has said.
PeP president Sean Tembo has however petitioned the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for failing to publish the statutory declaration of assets and liabilities for President Hakainde Hichilema.
Mr Tembo said the failure by the commission contravenes the constitution and is illegal.
He therefore wants a statutory declaration of assets and liabilities for Mr Hichilema as filed in the 2021 general election nomination process.
ECZ and the Attorney General are cited as the respondents in the petition filed into the Constitutional Court yesterday.
Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) president in his petition stated that on June 7, 2016, Parliament enacted the Electoral Process Act. No.35 of 2016 providing for delivery to the Attorney General the prescribed statutory declaration of the candidate’s assets and liabilities referred to as Gen 5 to be completed by Presidential candidates.
Mr Tembo added that on August 9, 2016, the Attorney General issued Statutory Instrument (SI) no. 063 of 2016 containing the statutory declaration of the candidate’s assets and liabilities.
He however said that surprisingly on August 12, this year, the general elections were conducted without ECZ publishing assets and liabilities for the 16 Presidential candidates.
Mr Tembo stated that on September 20, 2021, he did write to ECZ to release the statutory declaration for Mr Hichilema.
Section 30 (1) (C) of the Electoral Process Act states: A candidate for election as President or Vice-President shall deliver to the Returning officer the prescribed statutory declaration of the candidate ‘s assets and liabilities.
And article 52(3) states: The information contained in a nomination paper and affidavit shall be published by the Commission, as prescribed.
But Bishop Mambo said that it was unfair to only target one person hence the need for all Presidential contestant’s assets to be made public.
He said individuals demanding that President Hichilema’s assets be made public by ECZ were within their rights but that all Presidential candidates in the August elections must be subjected to the same treatment.
“Those demanding that assets for Presidential candidates be made public are within their right but that must include all candidates including Mr Lungu, Nevers Mumba, Sean Tembo and others,” he said.