EASTERN Province Democratic Party chairperson Danton Ndhlovu has accused the Electoral Commission of Zambia of “doing politics” and behaving like a branch of the Patriotic Front.

Condemning the ECZ’s proposed increment of nomination fees, Ndhlovu stated that the move would prevent youths from contesting elections.

“As Eastern Province members of DP for president Harry Kalaba, we would like to fully and totally condemn both the increase in the amount of fees for candidates in the 2021 general elections and the reduced voter registration period from 90 days to 30 days. ECZ is now doing politics in Zambia and is behaving like a branch of PF,” he said in a statement. “The behaviour by ECZ to increase fees for nominations has come to stop or defranchise youths and women with leadership skills from contesting in the forthcoming elections. The ploy to prevent youths and women should be cancelled and allow all possible potential voters to be captured so that we avoid voter apathy.”

Ndhlovu threatened to call for mass protests if ECZ does not rescind its decision.

“If there is no adjustment in the two planned activities, we shall call for mass demonstrations because someone is kneeling on the youths’ necks and they cannot breathe. We shall respect and follow diplomacy but it will not be the only option. We are tired, and youths and women are tired and suffocated with the too many injustices being force fed on citizens.”

He reiterated that Kalaba has pleaded with youths and women to register as voters.

“President Kalaba has demonstrated his value for youths and women by appointing them to various party structures. President Harry Kalaba has maintained that there will be no revolution without youths and women participation in the 2021 August elections,” stated Ndhlovu. “These actions of not wanting citizens participate in elections by increased nomination fees and reduced voter registration period are early warning signs of rigging elections, a position DP membership will not just sit and watch but act to defend and protect our right vote.”

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