the Anti-Rigging Zambia Limited, a non-governmental organization has asked the
High Court to declare that Rupiah Banda cannot be Zambia's vice president and
at the same time acting president once he has been nominated as his party's
candidate for the coming October 30th elections.
Banda, who has been
both vice president and acting president since the ailment and subsequent death
of President Levy Mwanawasa, filed his nomination papers last Friday to run for
the office of President.
But the petitioners say Banda cannot use state
resources as vice president and acting president to fund his political campaign.
Meanwhile, main opposition Patriotic Front Party leader Michael Sata says his
party is getting positive responses from the voters on the campaign trail.
From Zambia's Northern Province, Sata told
VOA he could win the October 30th elections if
the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) does not rig the vote.
there was no element of rigging, the election would be very easy. But our
problem at the moment is this MMD they can't win an election because they have
nothing to campaign on. They have nothing to show what they have done, but they
are working on rigging. And now they are using students. But what we are doing
is sensitization. To answer your question, the elections are not going to be
free and fair because there is lots of corruption," he said.
Sata described reports that
a smaller opposition party has endorsed Rupiah Banda as a sham. He accused the
ruling MMD of buying votes.
"The so-called opposition is
a one-man political party who Rupiah Banda bas bought their endorsement. They
have not endorsed Rupiah Banda unilaterally. He gave them money," Sata said.
Sata said he has ample
evidence to show that the ruling MMD has been bribing opposition politicians
"We have plenty evidence.
The other time he (Banda) was distributing mill meal, sugar, cooking oil, and
we have a number of political parties who were given between $3,000 and
$15,000. We have evidence, and the people who have received the money have gone
public; they have gone on private media and confessed that they received the
money. And the government has confirmed through the minister of information who
said that they are supporting smaller political parties," Sata said.
He accused the state-run
Zambia Broadcasting Corporation of being a month piece of the ruling MMD.
"The state media in Zambia
is synonymous to MMD, but at the moment we are effectively using the community
radios which are spread all over the country," Sata said.
During the last election,
Sata reportedly did well in the urban areas but poorly in the rural areas. Now
he said his party has embarked on a campaign to sensitize rural voters.
"I have started now a
campaign for the rural areas. You see when they are rigging they steal more
votes in the rural areas than in the urban areas. But when we sensitize the
people in the rural areas and people who can react when they tell them go and
have lunch when they are swapping boxes, then people are alert, and we pick the
correct people to be election agents. But this one we are not leaving any stone
unturned," Sata said.
He appealed to the United
States to assist in ensuring that the October 30th elections are
free and fair.
"Please prevail on the
American government and the American people to protest. We need free and fair
elections like in the United States of America. Let the best person win the
election and not inducing people, forcing leaders on the throats of the
people," Sata said.