ZAMBIANS should ignore UPND president Hakainde Hichilema’s claims that he has already won the January 20 presidential election, says PF campaign spokesperson Harry Kalaba.
Mr Kalaba urged Mr Hichilema to act responsibly so that people were allowed to express their free will in the next few days.
Mr Kalaba, who is Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in press statement yesterday that PF would act with caution not to cause any panic that might undermine the electoral process.
“We therefore urge the people to ignore Mr Hichilema’s empty claims and dismiss them with the contempt they deserve,” Mr Kalaba said.
“It is shameful that a person in his position can make such a wild and shallow statement that has the ability of causing confusion at a critical point and time like now.”
Mr Kalaba said Mr Hichilema was basing his “highly questionable” popularity on some media houses’ incredible polls that were being conducted without any scientific verification.
“We know for instance that a media house will on Sunday release a poll giving their candidate a self-delusional lead possible only from handsets of a few paid voters posting their mono views all night-long,” he said.
He said Mr Hichilema could not win an election on a radio chat show because an election was decided on an open platform.
Featuring on Hot FM Radio recently, Mr Hichilema declared that he had already won and there was no way he could lose the election.
Mr Kalaba called on Zambians to rally behind PF candidate Edgar Lungu because he meant well for the country and was a candidate of a party with a good record of performing.
Meanwhile, human rights defender and governance advocate Ngande Mwanajiti said claims by the UPND that it has already won the election were unacceptable and offended principles and tenets of democracy.
Mr Mwanajiti said the danger of categorical statement was that it would raise false expectations among supporters who might take the law in their own hands when they lose the election.
He said in a press statement yesterday that there should be no candidate who should declare himself or herself winner before the results were announced.
“A free, fair and clean election demands that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is respected by all stakeholders, without exception. Just like in a football match, no player or team can declare himself or herself winner before the final whistle of the referee,” Mr Mwanajiti said.
He said Mr Rupiah Banda’s endorsement of Mr Lungu was widely expected as a measure of legitimacy and fair players must accept the result of a particular game.