Masebo spells out poll rules

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PATRIOTIC Front (PF) chairperson for elections, Sylvia Masebo, says all members who are not in “good standing” with the party will not be allowed to contest Copperbelt provincial elections taking place in Ndola today.
Ms Masebo, who is also Minister of Tourism and Arts, however, said that the dissolved provincial executive committee members are eligible to stand.
She was speaking at a press briefing which was attended by PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba and chairperson for legal affairs, Ngosa Simbyakula, in Lusaka on Wednesday evening.
“The composition for those who are going to qualify as delegates shall be members of district executive committees on the Copperbelt,” Ms Masebo said.
“Those who are not in good standing with the party, those that are facing disciplinary cases and those serving any disciplinary case or indeed anybody who has been jailed and anybody who is not a delegate will not qualify to stand,” Ms Masebo said.”
She said according to the party constitution, PF members who are not delegates will not stand and that the PF secretariat has a record of all names of party officials which will make it is easy to conduct screening.
“The central committee made a proviso to allow the dissolved Copperbelt provincial committee members to be delegates. So, the delegates are the only people that will be eligible to contest any position and to vote,” Ms Masebo said.
According to the party constitution, all PF members of Parliament (MPs) and councillors on the Copperbelt will be delegates to the conference.
“We are going to get three members from all the 22 constituencies on the Copperbelt,” she said.
The provincial conference which is scheduled to take place at Hindu Hall today will be officially opened by Vice-President Guy Scott and more than 560 delegates are expected to attend.
The members are one from the youth wing, one from the women’s wing and one from the main body and chairpersons,” Ms Masebo said.
She said people should be allowed to campaigns freely without any intimidation and that the voting process should not be interfered with.
Ms Masebo said even if some previous elections were characterised by challenges, she is optimistic that the Copperbelt elections will be orderly and peaceful.
She said as a ruling party, the PF needs to show that it can conduct credible, free and fair elections.
“As chairperson for elections working with other party members and the party secretariat, we have put everything in order in terms of logistics. So there should be no problem. What happened in Lusaka will not happen on Copperbelt,” Ms Masebo said.
She advised party members who are not delegates to the conference not to come near the venue as the PF wants to have a peaceful and fair election.
“I wish to appeal to those that are standing to conduct their campaigns in peaceful manner. I also want to say that please you know the rules of the game,” said Ms Masebo, “Don’t use money to buy votes because there is evidence, and if it comes out that you were using money, you will lose your money and election will be nullified,”
Meanwhile, Mrs Bridget Atanga says in a spirit of fairness, any aggrieved member is at liberty to appeal against the decision of the appropriate primary organ in line with the party constitution.
Mrs Atanga said this in a circular copied to President Sata, national chairperson Inonge Wina, Mr Kabimba and Ms Masebo.
“You will remember that I had lifted all suspensions countrywide but then some of those serving suspensions had appealed. So in the spirit of fairness, it is better the cases are concluded,” she said.
Mrs Atanga clarified earlier media reports that had indicated a blanket lifting of members’ suspensions in the party.
She said once these cases are heard, the affected members will be at liberty to participate in the party elections.
“I also wish to urge those who have appealed to push for their cases to be heard at their respective organs,” Mrs Atanga said.

Zambia Daily Mail
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