ZED’s non participation in by-elections clarified
Lusaka, April 10, ZANIS—– Opposition Zambia for Empowerment and Development (ZED) President Frederick Mtesa has clarified that his party is usually not contesting the local and parliamentary be-elections where there are by-elections because it has no structures in those areas.
Dr Mtesa says ZED is a new political party in the country and chances of performing well are very slim in areas where there no party structures.
Dr Mtesa said organising and mobilising resources in an area where the party has no representation is a huge task noting that Zambia is a vast country.
The ZED President was speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today.
ZED has not participated in any of the just ended parliamentary by-elections in Mufumbwe, Mpongwe, Livingstone and the forth coming Kapiri-Mposhi and the Lukulu West polls citing the above reasons.
The opposition UPND, the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) and ruling Patriotic Front (PF), United Independence Party (UNIP) and National Revolution Party (NAREP) are the ones that participated.
He however said ZED is fielding Mr Mateni Chokoloko in the Kajilime local government by-elections in Lundazi district in Eastern province.
Other political parties vying the same seat are Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) and the immediate past ruling party MMD.
The ZED president claimed that his party is popular in Kajilime ward and it would emerge the winner because Mr Chokoloko is an upright and credible leader who would deliver to the aspirations of the people.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has set April 23 as the date for the Kajilime Local Government by- election.
The Kajilime ward seat fell vacant following the conviction of area Councillor Austin Msimuko to nine months imprisonment with hard labour for criminal trespass.
Dr Mtesa vowed that his party would not chicken out of the 2016 presidential and parliamentary by-elections because it is high time the Zambian people appreciated his political party.
Dr Mtesa stated that the party is under-going restructuring to prepare itself by ‘selling’ the party manifesto to the people of Zambia ahead of the 2016 polls.
And Alliance for Democracy and Development Secretary General (ADD) Stafford Lizu stated that his party does not participate in any of the local and parliamentary by-elections in the country because it cannot trust the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) in the manner it was conducting the by-elections.
Mr Lizu said there are a lot of electoral flaws that are over-looked by the Commission hence ADD has lost confidence in it.
In a separate interview, Mr Lizu said elections should be conducted for a longer period and urged other political parties in the country to desist from causing unnecessary by-elections and channelling people’s energies anyhow because those resources are meant for developing the country.
Mr Lizu noted that Zambia has come out from an election which saw the ruling PF emerge victorious in 2011 and it was not necessary for ADD to be participating in what he termed as ‘small’ elections (local and parliamentary elections).
“Constitutionally yes, it is relevant to participate in a presidential and general election but practically, political parties in this country are doing a disservice to the Zambian people to subject them to unnecessary small by-elections and channelling their energies to politics instead of developing this nation.
As ADD, we don’t want to blow hot air anyhow unless when it is worth-while like after five years when a presidential and general elections is held as stipulated in the republican constitution,” he said.
The ADD Secretary General further said by elections that come as a result of death are genuinely held as opposed to those caused by defections as the latter was a sheer waste of the nation’s resources which are supposed to benefit the poor people.
Meanwhile, Mr Lizu has commended the PF government on the new constitution making road map currently going on in the country.
He said he is opportunistic that the Republican President Michael Sata would give the Zambian people a good constitution to stand a test of time because he is a man of action.