A EUROPEAN Union Election Observer Mission official has been allegedly holding secret meetings with UPND senior officials and a Newspaper proprietor before, during and after the August 11 general elections, it was learnt yesterday.
Observers are not expected to socialise with contending parties but it is believed that the cartel was using the official to provide information to undermine the election through negative reporting.
This official is behind reports that the atmosphere in Zambia was not condusive for free and fair elections.
Some of the meetings were held at Kilimanjaro Lodge, Latitude 15 hotel in Kabulonga off Leopards hill road and at a house in Lusaka’s New Kasama area.
A source told the Daily Nation yesterday that the last meeting was held last Saturday when the EU official held a meeting at Kilimanjaro Lodge in the evening with the named officials while the petition case was active before the Constitutional Court.
An official close to the European Union during the polls revealed to the Daily Nation that a named newspaper editor was also invited during one of the UPND leaders’ meetings with the EU official.
“They even called him a week before the general elections; he came in his vehicle at 18:30 hrs and left at around 20:00 hrs,” the source said.
After their meetings they would be saying all kinds of silly things about our courts, President Lungu and the PF
The source said that the EU official and other observers had been having meetings with the three at Kilimanjaro restaurant situated in New Kasama South, off Leopards Hill road. The source explained that whenever the EU official and the UPND official came out of their meetings they would speak ill about President Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front.
The EU official was using two cars during his operations, a Toyota Prado and sometimes a grey Mercedes Benz.
“Like I said, the EU official and other observers have been meeting the two leaders at a house and at a restaurant called Kilimanjaro, off Leopards Hill road. “A week before the general elections, the EU official and the UPND official had dinner together,” the source said.
“On the day when there was confusion at Mulungushi International Conference Centre while the counting of ballots was ongoing. the European Union people phoned him and told him to come to Intercontinental Hotel at the EU offices, telling him that the machine which was disturbing the results was stationed there.
“He came with a group of UPND cadres and his security people in eight unregistered brand new Ford Rangers while he was in a white Land Cruiser GX and went straight to meet the officials,” the source said.
The source also revealed that the official attempted to hold another meeting with two former heads of state, who were leading observer missions to Zambia, at Intercontinental Hotel. “In another meeting he wanted to meet with the former presidents but was stopped by the State security who were deployed at Intercontinental Hotel
“The security expert for the European Union was called from Long Acres Lodge where he was lodging and only left after the senior UPND official and his security men had left.