President Lungu accused of electoral blackmail

President Lungu
President Lungu

The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has described as electoral blackmail the creation of two districts in Solwezi District a day after nominations of a Parliamentary by-election in the area.
FODEP is of the view that President Edgar Lungu who had been in North-Western Province to commission the US$1.2bn Sentil Copper Mine at Kalumbila Minerals where he also created the two Districts, has not only undermined the credibility of the Solwezi West Parliamentary electoral outcomes but also his party, the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s effort of ensuring a credible process and the entire electoral process in Zambia.

Executive Director Macdonald Chipenzi says his organization is amazed that President Lungu who has been frequenting Solwezi and North-Western Province in general has find it appropriate to create Mushindano and Kalumbila Districts during electoral campaigns period.
Mr. Chipenzi has told Qfm News in a statement that his organization feels that this an act President Lungu knows as a lawyer and seasoned politician knows well is irregular.

He says this is besides President Lungu knowing that his action is also part of electoral malpractices and bribery especially that he had all the time to do so well before the parliamentary bye-election.
Mr. Chipenzi states that the President’s disregard of the provisions of section 79 of the Electoral Act No. 12 of 2006 has in fact undermined the electoral democratic process in the country.
He notes that the action by the President, who swore to protect the Zambian Constitution, further demonstrates how defective the current constitution is as it vests so much power in one person.

The FODEP Executive Director has charged that this action will thus buttress sentiments that both the Head of State and his party are desperate to win the parliamentary by-election either by hook or crook.
He says FODEP condemns this act and strongly urges the ECZ and other law enforcement agencies to censure that President Lungu and any politicians in the habit of undermining the electoral process in order to instill confidence in the electoral process and its outcomes ahead of 2016 tripartite elections.