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New ECZ appointees UPND cadres

By NATION REPORTER

LAURA Miti and other stakeholders, including governance activists and academicians have protested the appointment of Mwangala Zaloumis and McDonald  Chipenzi as the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chairperson and Commissioner respectively because of their close association to the ruling UPND.

And former Transport and Communication Minister, Brian Mushimba has warned that the UPND risks being punished by Zambians because of their refusal to learn from the mistakes of the PF of appointing cadres into civil service positions.

The appointment of Ms Zaloumis and Mr Chipenzi as Chairperson and Commissioner of ECZ respectively has sparked outrage from an array of stakeholders who are concerned that the body mandated to govern the electoral system of the country shall be compromised because its leadership was part and parcel of the ruling UPND.

Governance activist, Isaac Mwanza said although Ms. Zaloumis and Mr Chipenzi have experience and expertise, the two are more inclined to the UPND and this would pose a challenge for them to be non-partisan as they execute their duties.

Mr Mwanza said in an interview that the two appointees at ECZ were known and confirmed operatives of the UPND and had therefore fallen far short of the acceptable threshold of nonaligned officers. Mr Mwanza is concerned that both Mr Chipenzi and Ms Zaloumis had never hidden their affiliation to the UPND, stating that the previous Chairpersons of the ECZ, late Ireen Mambilima and Justice Esau Chulu had never been aligned to any political party in their careers.

And human rights activist, Laura Miti has expressed outrage on the appointment of Mr. Chipenzi whom she fears is too close to the UPND and could therefore not be unbiased in the management of the electoral system of the country.

Ms. Miti said in a Facebook post that although Mr. Chipenzi was one of the most knowledgeable Zambians on elections, he was inclined to the UPND which was not good for the country’s electoral system.

“Patrick Kangwa’s confirmation as Secretary to the Cabinet is great for the country. Brilliant man. Not sure about the appointments to the Electoral Commission, though,” she said.

Ms. Miti’s hope is that the other seats on the ECZ would be filled by truly independent individuals because the country deserve a commission that was not an active and emotional player in elections.

Meanwhile, Dr Mushimba, the former transport and communications minister in the PF administration has said in a Tweet post that the UPND was repeating the same mistakes the PF was making of appointing cadres into the civil service.

Dr Mushimba said Zambians had rejected the PF partly because of the appointment of cadres in public service and wondered why the UPND had refused to learn from what had happened to the former ruling party.

“The PF appointed its cadres into civil and public service positions which angered Zambians and voted them out and the same would happen to the UPND. PF appointed its cadres into government positions and riled citizens. They voted PF out. UPND is appointing its cadres and somehow convinced that Zambians are happy and will not vote them out. Politicians do not learn,” Dr Mushimba said.

Dr Mushimba stted that the UPND was appointing its cadres and were somehow convinced that voters would not vote against them instead of learning from what they did to the PF.

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