The harassement of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) staff so that they can hurriedly announce results of the Presidential election held on Tuesday is not only uncalled for but also an infringement of the Electoral Code of Conduct.
We understand the anxiety associated with waiting for the outcome of any competition, especially an election, but this should not incite political parties to resort to desperate measures.
National elections are very emotive undertakings hence the need for the body charged with the responsibility of administering them to carefully conduct them in a free and fair manner.
It will be a sad day when the electoral body hurriedly announces the winner of the Presidential election with unverified figures which cannot tally.
What political parties should be mindful of is the fact that the ECZ is not the last resort in the electoral process.
Those aggrieved with the outcome of the election still have the courts of law where they can seek redress.
It would not be in the interest of political players and interest groups to see the ECZ embarrased in court because of unverified results.
This would dent the image of the ECZ not only locally but also internationally.
This is the reason why we are condemning political parties pressurising the ECZ to release results of the Presidential election.
While some political parties are physically putting the lives of those working at ECZ at risk, others are releasing totally exaggerated figures on social media.
The action is not only an uncivilised way of participating in the national electoral process but also uncalled for in this time and age.
We call on law enforcement agencies to protect the integrity of our electoral body as the actions of some of our political players are tarnishing the image of the ECZ.
Our ECZ has not only won praise regionally but also internationally for its thorough administration of elections in Zambia.
This is not to say that our electoral system is perfect. Far from it as even advanced democracies experience some electoral difficulties during the conduct of elections.
Therefore, the electoral body should be allowed to work independently so that it can deliver to the expectations of all stakeholders according to its mandate.
In the present scenario, the ECZ should be allowed to verify the election results they have received so far so that when they are eventually announced , they are undisputable.
All political players should understand that the ECZ has regulatory powers to determine how all the elections should run.
This is enshrined in the Electoral Act No. 24 of 2006 which also empowers the Commission to conduct registration of voters for presidential and parliamentary elections.
Political players should understand the mandate of the ECZ so that when it announces the poll results they are acceptable to all.