President of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Nevers Mumba has announced that his party will petition the election victory of Stephen Masumba of the Patriotic Front as member of parliament for Mufumbwe in the recently held by election.
Mumba said his party was shocked that the Electoral Commission of Zambia went ahead to announce the results of a flaued election.
“I have been involved in the political process for the past fifteen years. During this time I have served as a leader in the opposition and also as Vice President of Zambia in the MMD,” Dr. Mumba said. “In both camps, I have campaigned in several by-elections. Never in my fifteen year history have I ever been part of such a corrupt and immoral election like the one we just had in Mufumbwe.”
He continued: “As a Party, we are shocked that the ECZ can even announce those results knowing very well that the PF did not win that election. We have since written to the ECZ expressing our shock that they deliberately overlooked the glaring irregularities in the Mufumbwe by-election. It was a foregone conclusion that the PF had lost the election prior to voting day.”
Mumba said the people of Mufumbwe understood that PF had no interest in the North Western Province.
“They are aware of the insults that President Sata hurled on them as a people. His lack of respect for leaders from the Province to the extent that PF is the first government since independence which has not given any Cabinet position to the people of Northwestern Province,” he said. “Further to this dark picture, President Sata came to Mufumbwe to campaign, but only to intimidate and break electoral regulations. President Sata clearly stated, and I quote, ‘If you don’t vote for Masumba and PF, we shall bring no development here…..’”
Mumba: “There is a precedent where one of the MMD MPs made a similar statement and the seat was nullified. What the President said was just one of the many illegalities that the ECZ have condoned.During the 48 hours prior to voting, the PF party moved in and distributed money with impunity. At all Polling Stations, Streets and Markets and we have some of the footage. They further intimidated our members through violence, by beating up our members as they brandished their pistols claiming to be boma. Fourteen of our campaigners were first tear gassed in a vehicle, then beaten and the double cab they were using was physically overturned by PF operatives.”
“We are convinced that the Police worked with the PF thugs, because tear gas is only a preserve of the Police.In view of the above and many other fraudulent acts by PF to win the election through hook or crook, our Party intends to petition the just ended Mufumbwe by-election, once the Provincial report is received. We have vowed to give licence to PF to continue abusing democracy and destroying anything civil in the running of elections. The final decision to petition shall be made before the end of this week. We need answers from the ECZ. It appears to us that the ECZ wishes to suspend all electoral rules in order to allow PF to win elections. We must reach an agreement with ECZ, to either legalise vote buying or insist that e all abide by the electoral rules.”
“We must talk with ECZ and reach consensus. If PF can do it, we shall also do it. When the Police torture, beat and brutalise our members, we shall also propose to parallel Police which shall serve to protect our members during future by-elections. In the next by-election, we shall not play by rules that only serve one party. We shall play by the rules that are respected by all parties, and the ECZ must take responsibility to ensure this happens. The Police in Mufumbwe under the command of Commissioner Sibote was the worst outfit of Police’s behaviour I have ever witnessed.”
“The Commissioner was on a rampage to arrest anyone from MMD and tortured them. We have all the evidence. He was the leader of the ‘torture team.’ He personally continued to step on the stomach of our Provincial Secretary against shouts from our members who were advising Mr. Sibote, that their colleague had an operation on the same spot he was stepping on. The Commissioners response was a laugh, saying, ‘I think this operation was for drugs.’ The police failed in their duties, and we have written to the Inspector General of Police to demand that Commissioner Sibote accounts for his brutal and partisan behavior,” he said.
And Mumba said President Sata was the father of all violence in Zambian politics.
“He is the one who introduced pangas in Chawama, and other weapons. President Sata led the squads when he was National Secretary of MMD and he has continued to do it from State House. The Bible says ‘You shall know them by their fruit,’ President Sata accused me of being violent and turning MMD into a violent party.”
“Who between us is violent? Whose history between us supports the violent tag. Can Mr. Sata point to any violent incident carried out by myself or those I could have sent?,” he said. “From the time I took over as President, I am not aware of any act of violence on the past of MMD except in self defence. Mr. Sata commanded the Chawama violent troops which left most of its victims lame up to this day. In Rufunsa Local Government election, Mr. Sata accused MMD and UPND of having killed a PF cadre, when he knows that the killing happened within the PF circles as they fought for money. MMD regrets any loss of life, whether PF or MMD.”
“We extend our deepest sympathy to the family of the deceased. I challenge the police to stop harassing our members – we have several of our members locked up in cells as a cover-up to the brutal activities of PF cadres themselves. We demand that they be released as they were nowhere near the incidence. We further demand that a commission of enquiry be set up to ascertain the cause of the violence. This is important for future elections. PF is responsible for the loss of life in Rufunsa. In both Mufumbwe and Rufunsa only MMD Members are arrested and no PF member has been questioned for anything.”