Nevers turns down ECZ summons over rigging allegations

MMD president Nevers Mumba has turned down an order for him to appear before the Electoral Commission of Zambia over his recent allegation that the PF rigged the Lukashya by-election over a week ago.

Mumba told journalists in Lusaka on Monday that the PF rigged the Lukashya by-election and they overdid it.

He catalogued suspected incidences including one where an alleged PF cadre photographed his ballot paper to show those who hired him that he had voted right.

Mumba, a former Republican vice-president also said at one polling station where the MMD candidate Pastor Christopher Kabwe, his wife, children, dependents and his church members voted, he was given two votes.

Following the allegation that has unsettled the ruling party, a chorus has been coined for his arrest and police actually summoned him over the statement.

And ECZ chief electoral officer Patrick Kryticous Nshindano ordered Mumba to attend a meeting over the allegations.

According to a letter dated September 24, 2020, the meeting was scheduled for 14:00 hours yesterday.

“Following the allegations of rigging in the just ended Lukashya by-election circulating in the media made by yourself, the Commission is inviting you for a meeting tomorrow (yesterday) 14:00 hours to discuss the subject matter and ascertain the allegations. You are kindly requested to attend the meeting without fail,” stated Nshindano.

But MMD national secretary Elizabeth Chitika responded that Mumba would not make it for the meeting as he was out of town.

In her response also dated September 24, 2020, Chitika indicated that even if the MMD leader was in town, he would not have attended the meeting.

“I write on behalf of the party and wish to advise that our party president, Dr Nevers Mumba is out of town. Allow me, however to state that even if he was around, he was not going to come to your office as demanded by you since you are not a court. Your opportunity to hear us ended when your returning officer announced the results,” said Chitika. “You may wish to know that the campaign manager for the MMD, Mr. T. Maliti in the Lukashya by-election phoned your returning officer immediately him and other authorised officials were stopped from witnessing the counting of votes at a number of the polling stations. It is at that particular time when you should have demanded to hear us. It is therefore a mockery for your office to summon our party president today as if you are a court when your returning officer neglected to attend to our serious complaint at that critical time. We attach a copy of our complaint letter signed by Mr. Maliti which was delivered to the returning officer in Kasama on the 18th of September 2020 for your information.”

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