By Nation Reporter
INSTITUTIONS of governance should engage political stakeholders to remove perception of manipulation of the electoral system so that the outcome is acceptable to all, says Southern Africa Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) executive director Boniface Cheembe.
He said the items should also have been dealt with by Indaba called by the church which was attended by political leaders.
Mr Cheembe said it was imperative for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to continue to be open, receptive and transparent in all undertakings and consult extensively with all political parties and stakeholders on any matter in the electoral process.
He said there was need to ensure a smooth playing field and a conducive environment to hold a free, credible, fair and peaceful election that would make it possible for either the opposition or ruling party to concede defeat.
Mr Cheembe appealed to the ECZ to create platforms of engagement and for the police to ensure that the Public Order Act was applied fairly.
“As a country whether right or wrong, there is a perception that elections are either stolen or manipulated from as far as 1996, 2008, even the recent 2015 by-elections.
“So as SACORD, we want to recommend that ECZ creates platforms that encourage political parties’ engagement and consultation on any issue that may arise,” he said.
Mr Cheembe has since encouraged all political parties to send independent observers to monitor counting at polling stations.
He has called on the media to offer fair and balanced coverage stating that an election involved all stakeholders.