Zambia’s opposition unite to challenge Lungu ahead of polls

EDGAR Lungu has no political skill and the proof of that will come out on August 11 when people reject him, says Rainbow Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba.


EDGAR Lungu has no political skill and the proof of that will come out on August 11 when people reject him, says Rainbow Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba. Kabimba said yesterday during a consultative meeting of opposition political party leaders that they will mobilise the people of Zambia against the PF. “Edgar Lungu has no political skill. We are going out to mobilise the people of Zambia against the PF.

We will have sleepless nights in order for us to remove Edgar from power,” Kabimba said. “No one will go in that polling booth to vote for Lungu. No one will go in that booth and say ‘thank you President Lungu for the hardships and the sufferings you have caused me and my family’.

No one will go in the booth to say ‘thank you Mr President because my wife has run away from me after I lost employment, so I will vote for you’. I am not sure whom they are going to vote for; one thing I know for sure is whom they are voting against.” He said there was need for all Zambians to work hard and ensure that President Lungu was kicked out of power. The opposition political party consultative meeting attended by People’s Party leader Mike Mulongoti, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema, Green Party leader Peter Sinkamba, ADD leader Charles Milupi, MMD president Nevers Mumba, People’s Democratic Party leader George Mpombo and National Democratic Party leader Tentani Mwanzah came up with a communique which was read by Kabimba.

Reading the communique, Kabimba said opposition political party leaders were deeply concerned with the continuing misapplication of the public order Act by the Zambia Police, limited progress on electoral reforms, unbalanced media coverage, rising number of incidents of political and electoral violence against opposition members, media and other citizens. He said they had realised that political parties were the soul and lifeblood of multiparty democracy and the role they played in consolidating a sound multiparty democratic process of providing checks and balances as key to the political, social and economic, development of Zambia.

Kabimba said opposition political parties had realised that existing gaps in the amended constitutions of 1991, 1996 and 2016, saying that the electoral laws and other pieces of legislation like the public order Act, penal code were key in promoting a sound democratic process in Zambia. He said opposition leaders reaffirmed their resolve to unite across partisan, sectarian, religious and other interests in pressing for immediate repeal of the public order Act. “We do hereby resolve and declare that as part of the preparations for the 2016 general elections, our political parties pledge not to engage in any violent activities, hate or tribal utterances in our conduct, but will prioritise messages of peace, love and unity in diversity,” Kabimba read the communique.

He said opposition political parties will collectedly and individually press for the immediate review of the electoral Act, public order Act and other legislations. “We condemn state-sponsored violence and use of the Zambia Police Service and other security institutions against opposition political parties. We strongly condemn and shall fight against any and all forms of public resource abuse by the ruling party, civil servants, particularly district commissioners, permanent secretaries, and other state agencies by those in power,” Kabimba said.

The opposition political parties also demanded that President Edgar Lungu stops the violence and abuse of public resources, facilities and institutions. They stated that they will press for a transparent, open and accountable management of the August general elections aimed at changing the political and electoral landscape of the country. The opposition parties also demanded for timely invitation and early arrival of international election observers and further encouraged local election monitors to play their rightful role in safeguarding the integrity of the vote and ensuring that the will of the people prevails.

“The Electoral Commission of Zambia should consider funding polling agents accredited to political parties. We demand a media code of conduct which will commit to equal and balanced media access and coverage of all political parties and will work with the media in preventing and condemning acts of violence and harassment against journalists before, during and after elections,” Kabimba read. He said the opposition supported the court action taken by the Media Liaison Committee (MLC) against biased public media coverage. Kabimba also said opposition political parties called on all citizens to remain vigilant in guarding the integrity of the electoral process at all stages to ensure that it is a true reflection of their will.