Republican Vice President Inonge Mutukwa Wina says the government is committed to organise a genuine election that citizens and observers will embrace.
Mrs. Wina has also expressed confidence in Zambia’s ability to organise the August 2021 General Elections in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and other relevant regional and international instruments promoting democratic ideals and principles.
She says Zambia is committed to the principles and tenets of good governance and democracy and has already invited election observers from SADC, AU, EU, common Wealth Secretariat, COMESA and the Great Lakes Region.
‘‘We look forward to an election where everyone should come out and observe the health regulation and an outcome that will be acceptable to all Zambians. As a party in power we are open to an election result which reflects the will of the people,’’ She said.
The Vice President was speaking when Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to the African Union and Head of the UN office to the AU Hanna Tetteh paid a courtesy call on her.
Ms Tetteh is in the country to discuss the UN’s ongoing support in addressing all national priorities and preserving a peaceful national environment during this period and beyond with the government and other stakeholders.
Mrs. Wina further stated that the Covid epidemic poses a threat to established electoral practises and residents’ social well-being.
She stated that the government would continue to encourage people and all stakeholders to follow the established health recommendations in order to avoid the spread of the pandemic during the campaign and election period.
Meanwhile, Ms Tetteh said the UN is aware of the challenges posed by the Covid 19 pandemic on elections following the holding of 19 elections on the African continent last year under such conditions.
She said the elections can be the beginning of super spreader events if not well managed.
“The important thing is that whatever measures have been developed by the key stakeholders within the public service with the engagement of other actors is that those principles are applied consistently,’’ She said.
She has also stated that the UN will be open to facilitate dialogue among political players if called upon.
Ms Tetteh is also optimistic that the country will continue to be a good example with regards to leadership and democracy on the African continent.
And in response, the Vice President said continued collaboration with the UN office in Lusaka will go a long way in ensuring that the country comes out with elections that will be acceptable.
‘‘Ensuring that the measures are applied consistently and fairly will minimise any concerns among political players. We will do our best as Government to ensure that the playing field is levelled.
We will try to engage the opposition to adhere to some of these regulation set out by the Electoral Commission of Zambia and other stakeholders with regards to the observance of Covid 19 rules and regulations,” She said.