SADC declares Zambia’s election free and fair

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Saturday declared that Zambia’s presidential election was free and fair, despite claims of vote-rigging by the opposition.

“It is SADC’s overall view that the elections were conducted in an open, transparent and professional manner,” said John Kunene, who headed the SADC observer team to Zambia.

SADC also urged opposition candidates who have alleged vote fraud in Thursday’s poll to formally take up their complaints with authorities.

“No acts of intimidation were observed or reported countrywide,” Kunene said.

“SADC pleaded with the different political parties to follow the relevant institutions in Zambia to address any grievances,” he added.

The 15-nation bloc “commends the Electoral Commission of Zambia for the professional management of the recently concluded elections and commitment to produce credible and legitimate electoral results”, Kunene said.

Zambia’s opposition leader Michael Sata holds a slight lead over acting President Rupiah Banda in the election. Sata has accused authorities of planning to rig the vote, charges the election commission has denied.

Sata had 40,7% of the vote compared with 38,5% for Banda, with nearly three-quarters of the 150 constituencies reporting, giving Sata a lead of just 35 364 ballots, said Electoral Commission of Zambia chairperson Florence Mumba.

The Patriotic Front (PF) leader, who has frequently accused Banda’s ruling Multiparty Movement for Democracy (MMD) of election fraud, had seen his lead narrow sharply as results trickled in.

Sata stormed into the Lusaka vote centre after the latest release of results and accused the ruling party of being “a bunch of thieves”, saying the voter roll had been inflated in Banda’s favour in MMD strongholds.


“These are fake,” the fired-up leader told journalists. “This election is not free and fair.”

When asked if he would accept loss, Sata replied: “How do I accept defeat when I have not been defeated?”

The MMD said Saturday the party was confident of victory over Sata. Results have already been announced in most of Sata’s strongholds. — AFP

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Small towns not ready for level 3

Officials in Beaufort West, which is on a route that links the Cape with the rest of the country, are worried relaxed lockdown regulations mean residents are now at risk of contracting Covid-19
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday