Sanday Chongo Kabange in BERLIN, Germany
Anxiety will continue to build among Zambians who are eager to cast their ballot in this year’s presidential and general vote.
The mounting anxiety follows President Rupiah Banda’s disinclination to announce the election date despite numerous calls from the opposition and civil society for him to announce the date as provided for in the republican Constitution.
Zambia is this year hosting presidential, parliamentary and local government elections in which President Banda is re-contesting the presidency.
Banda’s critics and opposition political parties have accused him of keeping the election date secret so that it works to his advantage when he pronounces it to the public.
Registered voters and Zambians abroad are keenly following developments out of Lusaka and the protracted announcement of the election date has kept them glued to the Internet for updates.
According to State House, President Banda will only announce the date for the presidential, parliamentary and local government elections once all logistics were ushered into place.
Banda said announcing the election date was not done in a vacuum but in consultation with all key stakeholders like Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), which is mandated to run elections in the country.
He said the ECZ had not yet compiled the final Voter Register following the verification exercise which ended on 12th June, 2011.
Banda said Zambians, especially politicians, should exercise patience and allow the ECZ and other institutions involved in organising the elections to carry out their duties without undue pressure.
He said Zambia had always held elections on time whenever they are due and 2011 will not be an exceptional.
On the calls to dissolve Parliament, Banda said he would only do so at the right time.
He said the Constitution of Zambia, which he swore to uphold when he was elected President, was very clear on the dissolution of Parliament and he would not depart from the constitutional provisions.