Losers maligning ECZ, says Lungu

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says that those complaining about the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) are just making excuses for their impending  loss and should not malign the commission with rigging allegations ahead of the August 11 general elections.

Speaking when he arrived in Livingstone yesterday to address the World Farmers Organization summit, President Lungu also charged that the opposition have no chance of dislodging the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) from power in the August elections because their opportunity to do so was during the January 20th presidential election.

Mr. Lungu said he believed the ECZ was the best in Africa and in the region and that it has never been found wanting.

“I believe ECZ is one of the best in Southern Africa and in Africa and they have never been found wanting. Those who think there will be rigging are just trying to find reasons for losing. How can you go in a football march and begin preparing before you even know a referee and team and start saying the referee is biased; that the referee will favour the other team? What makes you say that? It is because you are not prepared,” he said.

Mr. Lungu said he would not allow people to demonize the ECZ, adding that he would protect the integrity of the commission.

“We will not allow people to demonise ECZ and try to bring their reputation into question. They have no basis to do so. Those who don’t believe in impartiality of ECZ have no room in this place. Let’s believe in our own system. If we can’t believe in our system, then we want Malawians or Angolans to come and run our own systems? No. “I have been a student myself at the university and I know there are students who are not ready to write exams and they will bring confusion on the eve of exams so that they (authorities) close the institution or defer the exams. We will not allow that to happen,” he said. President Lungu said he was glad the slogan of One Zambia One Nation was sinking into Zambians, including those in the opposition.

He said Zambians should not allow anyone to divide them, not even politics. “After we vote, we will still remain One Zambia One nation.’’  He added: ‘‘I want to assure you that PF is stronger than it was before. This is because the opportunity for the opposition to dislodge PF from power was in January 2015 presidential elections but they failed to do so.

“Now that we are fully in charge of the party and Government, I will make sure that the party remains united. Those who want to come from other political parties are welcome. That is democracy. We will not demonise anyone,” he said.

Mr Lungu was speaking in Livingstone at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport yesterday on his arrival to officiate at the 2016 World Farmers Organisation conference (WFO) being held under the theme ‘‘Partnerships for growth’’.

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