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Appointing a UPND stooge to ECZ is an assault on democracy – GBM

Patriotic Front, PF, aspirant for the party‘s top position, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, GBM, has described as a blatant assault on democracy and an insult to the collective wisdom of the Zambian people the appointment of a well-known UPND stooge, McDonald Chipenzi, as Commissioner of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, ECZ.

Mr. Mwamba says President Hichilema is daring the Zambian people by openly desecrating the country’s democratic credentials, an act that has been well noted and likely to sow seeds of despondency among voters.

The former Kasama lawmaker says he is at great pains to understand how the President can proceed with such an appointment when Chipenzi is an active member of the ruling party. He wonders again why the President thinks Zambians are going to sit idly by watching him walk all over the democracy they fought for so hard.

“This guy, Chipenzi, was all over the Kabushi and Kwacha constituencies ensuring that UPND bent every rule in the book to disadvantage PF with the assistance of ECZ. This is the guy you give the Zambian people to preside over an institution which is the nerve center and heartbeat of electoral democracy”. Mr. Mwamba wonders.

The former Defense Minister has called on Zambians, civil society, and Members of Parliament to reject Chipenzi’s appointment and use every legal means available to block the ratification of his name.

Mr. Mwamba says President Hichilema has gone too far in his open contempt for the will of the Zambian and the country’s democratic institutions. He says he must be made to understand that the people and not him hold real power and authority by sending Chpenzi’s name to his desk.

“If you feel so indebted to Chipenzi”, Mr. Mwamba tells Mr. Hichilema, “Why can’t you appoint him to many other positions that have no implication for democracy?”

The veteran politician says President Hichilema has targeted ECZ to for purposes of entrenching an advantage for him so that the 2026 elections are tilted to his favor. Unfortunately for him, Mr. Mwamba says President Hichilema’s strategy and tactics are being read like an open book by all and chances of him succeeding will be dimmed considerably.

“Shamelessly and desperately, Mr. Hichilema orchestrated the ouster of the former ECZ Director, an act that signified his underhand methods and failure to play by the rules of engagement”, Mr. Mwamba says.