Thursday, May 05, 2011

Sata seeks help on electoral process

Sata seeks help on electoral process
By George Chellah in London, UK
Thu 05 May 2011, 04:00 CAT

MICHAEL Sata has requested the donor community to assist in establishing a credible electoral system in Zambia. The PF leader said this when he was hosted by Chatham House – an independent British ‘think-tank’ - on international affairs during his ongoing visit to the United Kingdom at the invitation of University of Oxford where he gave a special lecture.

Sata said if the Zambian electoral system was applied in the US, Britain and South African elections, President Barrack Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron and President Jacob Zuma could not have been elected leaders, respectively.

“Where we are going is very dangerous. If I had not appealed to the Zambian people in 2006 and 2008 elections what is happening in Egypt would have been a child’s picnic,” Sata said. “We have to be very careful and that’s where you people should be careful too. Chatham House can assist to remodel and rebuild the world through peace.”

Sata said Zambia was headed for a disaster under President Rupiah Banda’s leadership.

He said Zambia was headed for a disaster especially that President Banda had abandoned the fight against corruption and was determined to fragment the opposition political parties.

“If a person is behaving that way ,he cannot guarantee peace,” he said.
Sata said Zambians relied on donors to voice their concerns on various issues relating to governance but a strong diplomatic voice was currently lacking in the country.

“The government is just quarrelling with the Catholics because they are the ones speaking,” he said.

On corruption, Sata regretted the turn of events in the fight against graft in the country.

“I must apologise, the British government helped us to fight corruption but when Levy Mwanawasa died, the person who was his Vice-President when he took over abandoned the fight against corruption,” Sata said.

He urged the international community to intervene immediately before the country is faced with problems.

Sata said the PF’s plans for the country included, among other key objectives, improving the social services.

He said he had experience in running government and understood the difficulties that come with the task.

When asked about Chinese investment, Sata said Zambia wanted to have a smart partnership with the Chinese.

However, Sata emphasised the need for Zambia to revive its close relationship with the British government.

“Our number one aim will be to revive that relationship, Zambia needs to benefit from the relationship and vice-versa. We need to bring back the tradition,” said Sata.

Sata, who was accompanied by Bob Sichinga and Dr Kasukwa Mutukwa was received by Chatham House Africa Programme head, director: regional and security studies, Alex Vines, who was also flanked by Markus Weimer, Africa programme research fellow.

And Dr Mutukwa, who is former SADC parliamentary forum executive director, during the meeting, said the Zambian government had rejected the usage of the Parallel Vote Tabulation system during this year’s general elections.

“They are claiming that it has never been done, which is not true,” he said.
He called on the international community to intervene.

“It’s a contribution which can be made by friends of Zambia and friends of democracy,” said Dr Mutukwa.

Chatham House is a world acclaimed British research institute on world affairs. The first and last Zambian to have visited and been hosted by the institute was Dr Kenneth Kaunda.

The Chatham House wanted to be updated on the developments in Zambia ahead of this year’s general elections.

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