Presidential candidates face disqualification

ECZ Spokesperson Cris Akufuna
ECZ Spokesperson Cris Akufuna

Presidential candidates who will fail to deposit at least half of the K 75, 000 in the stipulated Electoral Commission of Zambia account by Tuesday, 17th May, 2016 will be disqualified from standing in the August 11 general elections, ECZ public relations manager Cris Akufuna said.

Meanwhile, only UNIP is known to have, so far, deposited half of the K75, 000 presidential nomination fees in the ECZ account.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Akufuna said that it was a clear and straight forward matter and that if any of the Presidential aspiring candidates failed to deposit K 37, 500 by the set deadline for payment, then such a candidate would be disqualified.
“It is clear if you don’t deposit half of the nomination fee in the stipulated ECZ account by the deadline, then you won’t stand,” he said.

According to the ECZ, the electoral body does not want to handle cash as the case was in the past.
The commission prescribed from 10th May, 2016 to 17th May, 2016 as dates during which to deposit at least half of the K75, 000.
“Aspiring Presidential candidates are required to deposit a minimum of 50 percent of the non-refundable nomination fees in the Electoral Commission bank accounts stipulated below from 10th to 17th May, 2016.

Aspiring Presidential candidates should present to the Commission a bank deposit slip as proof of payment for inclusion on the Nomination Timetable. The balance should be deposited in the Electoral Commission bank account before Nomination Day,” Mr Afukuna said in his earlier press statement.
He said all aspiring Presidential candidates should ensure that they present to the Returning Officer bank deposit slip(s) as proof of full payment of the nomination fees with their nomination papers on the scheduled nomination day.
Mr Afukuna said the Commission would not receive any cash payments from aspiring Presidential candidates on the nomination day.

Meanwhile, UNIP Deputy Secretary General Alfred Banda said the party had paid half of the K 75,000 as stipulated by the ECZ and that the party would field Tilyenji Kaunda as their Presidential candidate and Njekwa Anamela as his running mate.
“I can confirm that we have paid the money and we do have the receipt. We were among the first people to pay.
“We are fielding comrade Tilyenji Kaunda as our Presidential candidate and Njekwa Anamela as his running mate. We are going to field candidates at all levels starting from Councillors, Members of Parliament (MPs), Mayors and we are ready for this election,” he said.

Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) president Mr Charles Milupi wondered what would happen if a candidate paid but failed to meet certain requirements such as the number of supporters.
Mr Milupi said the old process to file and pay for nominations at the Supreme Court was the best as a candidate would have readily met all the requirements unlike paying in the ECZ account.
UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma said that he needed to find out from the candidate as it was not the party that would foot the bill.

“I have to find out from the candidate. It’s not the party that pays the money but the candidate,” he said.
When contacted for a comment on the matter, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi refused to talk to this reporter stating that she does not talk to the Daily Nation newspaper.
“I am sorry, my dear. I do not respond to the Daily Nation newspaper,” she said.

Zambia Daily Nation