UNIP Refuses To Give Up – A Case of Keeping Up Appearances.
UNIP president Tilyenji Kaunda yesterday successfully filed his nomination for Republican presidency at Mulungushi International Conference in Lusaka, but complained that the fees are too high and inhibiting many citizens from participating.
Tilyenji, who was accompanied by his running mate Njekwa Anamela, noted that the fees had divided society into two classes and thus posed a danger to the country.
“The 2016 general elections are significant in many ways; first, they give an opportunity for all our citizens to exercise their political right, including the right to vote and stand for elective office. The Electoral Commission of Zambia nomination fee, despite the reduction, remains high and extremely prohibitive and has seriously affected the participation of many citizens in the national process,”
Tilyenji told his supporters after filing his nomination. “They have divided our society into two classes; those who are rich and can afford to pay them and the poor majority who cannot vote but escort the rich, and this is unacceptable. This poses a danger to our democracy and does not reflect the spirit of independence that led to the present-day freedom. Those freedom fighters lying in the grave today, if they knew this was going to happen, they would not have gone that far to take power from the oppressors to give them to other oppressors, this time black oppressors.”
He said the failure by many to contest the presidency erodes the quality of Zambia’s democracy and needs to be addressed.
“Among these shortcomings, there is too much paperwork and bureaucracy leading to delays and inefficiency in the electoral process,” Tilyenji said.
He added that Zambia needed a vibrant democracy in which all people celebrate the freedom of choice by electing leaders who would deliver on their promises.
Tilyenji said UNIP had an impeccable track record which Zambians could rely on.
“All Zambians know that our founding fathers didn’t have grade 12 but delivered this country. UNIP is a founding party of this Republic of Zambia; we offer an alternative in the governance of this nation. For us, job creation is not a problem, providing inputs for farmers is not a problem, it’s not a big deal. This is something any government can do if they’re committed. They keep saying there is no money but each year, the Auditor General says money has gone missing in our coffers. UNIP has a track record of performance and will bring dignity back to this Republic,” said Tilyenji. “We understand the challenge that is before the nation in dealing with matters of poverty, hunger, unemployment and job creation. The youths are suffering, our young people are suffering. We are offering an alternative leadership to the nation and we are ready to struggle with the broad masses of our nation in dealing with this hardship and misery that exists in our communities in all the provinces of Mother Zambia. Our manifesto speaks on infrastructure development not only in terms of roads, hospitals, schools but addresses the need to offer affordable living for all Zambians. When elected into office, we shall establish a transparent and accountable government.”