It was good to see the nominations process for Zambia’s presidential, parliamentary and civic offices go through violent-free.
The process would result in the presidential ballot paper having up to 16 candidates and in as much as there are many candidates, there is another group of four that dropped out.
These were knocked out for a variety of reasons after dishing out K95,000 for the presidential candidate and K75,000 for their running mates.
Today on the front page, we carry a story that is more of human interest than hard news where one of the four failed aspirants in Nason Msoni from the All Peoples Congress Party (APCP) is demanding a refund from the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
His argument is that the ECZ failed to deliver a decent service to warrant the K170,000 him and his running mate paid to be on the ballot.
We find this reading rather humorous especially that the reasons for the failed nomination was the failure to muster the required 1, 000 registered voters countrywide to be placed on the ballot.
One of the key reasons behind the ECZ move to ask for the 1,000 verifiable voters as supporters is to stop anyone putting his/her name forward to contest the elections even when they do not have the required number.
The money paid to ECZ, everyone knows, is non-refundable and seeing such claims of demanding a refund speaks volumes about the candidates and their ability to manage a whole country.
The ECZ had set May 17-20 this year as period for filing-in of nomination papers by presidential candidates and their running mates and how Mr Msoni had problems that majority of his rivals never encountered is a wonder.
Running a country is not child’s play and technical failures as reported by the APCP in which their leader says the ECZ asked him to transport up to 500 supporters to Lusaka unlike his opponents who had them verified online and from provincial centres better end at nomination level and not when one is running a country.
No one would love to see a country plunged into a crisis over a technical problem and as such, we feel people who are running for president should, beyond any reasonable doubt, have enough supports to win an election or at least even come close to winning.
Mr Msoni also said he could not ferry the 500 people to Lusaka for verification from Muchinga, Copperbelt, North-Western, Western and Southern Provinces within two days.
Fact is one can move from any provincial city in Zambia to Lusaka within 24 hours.
Running for the office of presidential, and for a country for that matter, calls for better organisation within a party to gain the people’s trust before they can consider letting one manage their nation’s affairs.
Otherwise, let us watch from home.