THE attempt by some political players to pre-determine the outcome of this year’s Presidential and general elections in their favour while accusing the ruling party of trying to manipulate the results of the polls is not only deceitful but also dangerous.
We say deceitful and dangerous because no political party in Zambia can boast of having even half of the current five million registered voters as confirmed members of their structures.
Not even President Edgar Lungu has given himself any undue advantage as he will be subjected to the same conditions as other candidates.
Ideally political parties should depend for their success or failure on the substance and nuance of their message to the electorate.
Therefore, the accusation by some opposition political parties that the ruling party is trying to rig elections is not only mischievous but also aimed at inciting their members to engage in undesirable conduct in the event of defeat.
Zambia manages a highly professional open electoral system that is beyond any form of manipulation. Precedence has shown that incumbency is no bar to the success of the opposition.
Many international electoral bodies and other observers have commended the professional manner with which the elections are conducted in Zambia.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) may have some hiccups here and there, but this is because logistic present an ever present challenge that must be surmounted, sometimes in the most trying of circumstances.
When the Electoral Commission of Zambia started the voter registration exercise a few months ago, they did not hide this fact, as the information was in the public domain.
When the draft voter’s roll is compiled, we believe as in previous undertakings, the political players will be free to verify the registers.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia goes further to make available final voters’ registers to candidates.
It is also not a secret that from voting to counting and tallying, of votes cast, political party agents are allowed to witness the processes and only sign the valid result forms when they are satisfied with the procedure employed.
It is for this reason that we are saying that the RIGGING calls hitting the headlines in some media publications by some political parties and their cartel partners are nothing but an attempt to psych the minds of members to reject the outcome of the polls and cause political consternation so that the country could become ungovernable.
We have seen this before from confident political players who preach victory even before the vote is cast and counted.
But this is uncalled for and unpatriotic to incite members to act as though one cannot lose an election.
When voters enter the booths to cast their ballots, the system does not attract spectators as Zambia’s electoral system is conducted using a secret ballot.
While we can assume that candidates vote for themselves, we are not so sure whether their close colleagues vote for them.
Therefore, while it is acceptable to sound confident of victory, it is wrong for our political players to undermine the integrity of the Electoral Commission of Zambia and the electoral system by accusing the body of conniving with outsiders to favour a particular political party.