BREBNER Changala says the chaos that has characterised the current voter registration exercise is a creation of the PF which has also backfired on them.
Changala says the nation will not join President Edgar Lungu and PF in mourning the collapse of the infamous National Assembly Constitution (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019.
Speaking when he met chiefs in Chipangali on Sunday at St Margaret’s Girls Secondary School, President Lungu complained that the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s inefficiency or challenges during the ongoing voter registration exercise if repeated during the elections next years can give rise to chaos.
He promised to meet ECZ officials to understand what problems they were facing.
But Changala, a good governance activist, said President Lungu should not plead ignorance about the situation.
“President Lungu will go down in history as a man who deceived the nation, including myself, as a humble leader. And I voted for him: one, him being a lawyer; two, being a humble citizen who was going to listen to all of us; not to mislead us on things that are going to mutilate the Constitution,” he said in an interview. “If there’s anything that everyone will remember him for, it is that he’s a deceiver; he’s not honest to the people of Zambia. And let me also tell him about this ECZ. ECZ’s chaos is not of its own creation, but the creation of PF because they want to rig the election, they want to disenfranchise the people of Zambia, they want very few people to register and that will work for them. Their scheme has backfired.”
Changala explained some of the activities PF members have been carrying out during voter registration.
“If you have seen, the PF other than any political party, are now hiring buses to take people for voter registration. They are handing over money to the voters who are registering,” he alleged. “One of them is a minister Charles Banda, we have seen pictures [of him] handing over money to the people who are in a queue. I don’t even know where the Anti-Corruption Commission is. We have seen massive donations of…We don’t know where they are getting money from.”
He said President Lungu and PF should not worry about the chaos at ECZ.
Changala said the best time for the PF to cry would come after they have lost power.
“So, they must not cry, there will be time to cry. They will have enough time to cry when they are ready to go to jail because that time is coming. At the moment it’s to prepare to handover. The chaos at ECZ will take care of itself because the people of Zambia will have to register, whether they (PF) like it or not. Nine million people will have to register and the registration period will have to be extended from 30 days because the law says it must be continuous,” Changala said. “They must not create by-laws when they sit – President Lungu and honourable judge [ECZ chairperson Esau] Chulu and [chief electoral officer Patrick] Nshindano, three of them they sit and make by-laws on how the people of Zambia will govern themselves by reducing the period of registration, no! That is against the Constitution, and nobody will accept that.”
And Changala told President Lungu to forget about the failure of Bill 10 and move on.
“Bill 10 is dead and buried. For him to make it a campaign slogan is because he’s injured; he has lost out. What is important and my advice, is that he must prepare his smooth handover to other people who are ready to lead this country – who are prepared to listen to the people’s will,” he said. “So, we are not going to continue to mourn with him on Bill 10, that is his funeral. And what the members of parliament in the opposition did, they did it as per instructions not to participate in a fraudulent mutilation of the Constitution.”
Changala advised President Lungu to instead spend his time reconciling with the people as he prepares to handover next year.
“The President, at the moment, he has got ample time to reconcile with the people of Zambia, and not to participate in the election. He must allow his political party to choose a successor and prepare to gracefully hand over power to the next person who shall get entrusted by the people of Zambia,” Changala said. “So, the funeral for Bill 10 is for the PF. And we are not going to participate in their Isambo lya mfwa lya (dirge over) Bill 10. They will cry and cry, that thing is gone. And he will not even be declared President General because there will not be that time.”
Meanwhile Changala condemned PF donations to people registering as voters.
He asked them to justify their failure to honour debt obligations if they can continue to live in luxury.
“When did they become so benevolent in the midst of poverty, when the treasury is bleeding, when the Minister of Finance says Zambia has no money, when you are failing to meet your bond obligations but at home you are living lavishly?” asked Changala. “That is the conduct of fools who would want to live beyond their means just because of an election. So, we are not participating in that funeral for Bill 10.”