Opposition APC President Nason Msoni

The statement by the ECZ limiting the participation of prisoners to only the Presidential ballot does not come as a surprise as the entire proposal of allowing prisoners to vote is rather problematic and atrocious.

Those who had earlier opposed the manoeuvres and the suggestion of prisoners being allowed to vote feel vindicated by the new position taken by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).

We think that this was entirely to be expected as the entire process is complex and highly contentious and in a way very suspicious to other stakeholders.

We also think that it is absolutely ridiculous for prisoners to only vote for a presidential candidate and be excluded from choosing their local representatives in their respective precincts.

It is clearly outlandish and discriminatory for all intent and purposes for prisoners to only participate in the presidential and be excluded in the other equally important entire electoral process of exercising their full acquired voting rights.
The right to vote in this case must be wholistic and in totality.

We think that this whole idea of partial participation is a clear recipe of confusion and ultimately attracting unnecessary litigation.
We think that the most difficult decision to make is to insist on prisoners to vote as opposed to shelving the whole process as a complete flop on the grounds of logistical challenges.

We think that prisoners have enough problems of their own and must be left out of the plans by those anticipating to take advantage of votes of the prisoners.

The anticipated deficit in votes by those who are fearful of a possible electoral defeat are complicating the entire process through the eying of the votes of prisoners. We think that it is absolutely wicked to attempt to exploit the vulnerable position of prisoners to marshal the necessary required votes.

We think that it is not too late to rescind the decision of allowing prisoners to vote as opposed to the limiting of their rights to full participation in the electoral process.
Nason Msoni
All peoples Congress APC



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