THE Election Commission of Zambia (ECZ) should educate members of political parties and the general public that councillors are not political office holders and do not require adoption or sponsorship for an election, says Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) governance advisor Isaac Mwanza.
He explained that while political parties had the right to sponsor candidates for election or nomination to a State office, it was not the same for councillors as they were not officers of the state.
Mr Mwanza said ECZ should quickly communicate to all political parties and members of the public on the new Constitution of Zambia that there was no requirement for political parties to sponsor candidates for election as councillors including the issuance of adoption certificates.
“YALI wrote the Electoral Commission to bring this matter to their attention and it will be prudent for both the Commission and the Attorney General to help quickly guide the nation on the status of councillors in the amended Constitution.
“According to Article 60 of the Zambian Constitution, political parties have a right to sponsor candidates for election or nomination to a State office but councillors are not State Officers,” he said.
Mr Mwanza said it was the responsibility of ECZ to sensitise the public on necessary changes in the law, especially information which affected the electoral process.
He explained that any person holding the office as councillor could not be removed from the office just because he or she was expelled or his membership withdrawn from a political party they belonged to because they could not be elected on partisan line.
“The Commission must thus come out clear than wait for the last minute to inform the nation and political parties about these constitutional changes which compel the Commission to avoid putting symbols of political parties on ballot papers for election of councillors in the 2016 elections,” Mr Mwanza said.