Lusaka ~ Thur, 24 Sept 2020
By ZR Reporter
The Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) has declared that the Lukashya and Mwansabombwe by-election results announced by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) match ballots cast at polling stations.
This, therefore, means that claims of rigging in the two by-elections by MMD faction leader Dr Nevers Mumba are hogwash.
Dr Mumba had claimed on Hot FM that he received information from a senior PF member about the election rigging ploy a day before the voting day and said he did not report to relevant authorities.
Despite these claims, his MMD went ahead and participated in the same elections which he said were rigged, a move which had made the ruling PF to wonder why the former ruling party contested the polls if they knew they were rigged.
Two days ago, the CCMG released its report on the recently held parliamentary by-elections whose results it independently verified and said those announced by the ECZ in the two constituencies matched ballots cast at polling stations.
“The Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) observed both the pre-election period and election day for the Lukashya and Mwansabombwe Parliamentary By-Elections. In the pre-election period, CCMG deployed eleven Long-Term Observers (LTOs) and for election day, CCMG recruited, trained and deployed a total of 144 Election Day Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) Observers to every polling station in Lukashya (97 Observers) and Mwansabombwe (47 Observers) Constituencies,” read the statement.
“CCMG also deployed nine Ward Supervisors who served as mobile observers throughout the wards. Election Day PVT Observers arrived at their assigned polling station and polling stream at 05:30 hours and remained there throughout the polling station setup and opening, voting, and counting until the official results for the parliamentary election for the polling station were publicly announced and posted. The objective of CCMG’s by-election project was to make the Lukashya and Mwansabombwe by-elections more transparent by providing systematic factual information on the conduct of the process; more accountable by independently verifying the accuracy of the official results as announced by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and more inclusive by giving voters the confidence to participate in the electoral process.”
Based on reports from its 144 Election Day PVT Observers and nine Mobile Election Day Observers, CCMG said by-elections in Lukashya and Mwansabombwe followed the election day procedures for the set-up, voting and counting processes on election day.
CCMG further called on ECZ to swiftly investigate all allegations of violations of the Electoral Code of Conduct.
The organization said it reported multiple Code violations including political violence and harassment of opponents, wearing of military attire by some political party supporters and widespread use of handouts, among others, all of which are detailed in this and CCMG’s pre-election reports.
CCMG has also called on the Police to continue providing security in an equitable manner to all political parties at events, as they did during the two by-elections and urged civil society organizations to increase their targeted and coordinated voter education and information campaigns on electoral processes.
The organization commended the political parties for largely adhering to the campaign schedules published by the ECZ and urged them to continue to do so for future elections.