All six EU priority electoral policy reform recommendations have NOT been adopted


All six EU priority electoral policy reform recommendations have NOT been adopted

Democracy is a borrowed governance concept by most African governments, Zambia inclusive. Some even say that it’s the access to external finance and aid that drives a semblance of most regimes across the continent putting out a facade of being democratic.

It is believed that the European Union – EU themselves knows this, but also out of their selfish interests in Zambia, they keep on putting out these reports so that they can also be seen to be doing their best and continue their work.

One stark piece of evidence that the final EU report has brought out is that even though most critics of the new dawn government seem to suggest that the UPND is western inclined, and just implements willy-willy all western recommendations without due consideration of their self preservation needs are perhaps wrong.

All regimes in the world, in the EU inclusive, without democratic laws and safeguards will opt for self preservation. Perhaps this lack of adoption of recommendations by the EU should be interrogated in a more deeper and realistic study rather than cut and paste approach.

Could it be that for instance, the public order act is what is keeping our government even to last for the first five years in power and provide some semblance of stability for our fragile nation’s dogged with low income levels and underdevelopment?

The reality is that Non of all the six priority recommendations by the EU observer missions has seen the light of day. Actually, the EU representative even admitted that out of 22 recommendations, only 2 seem to have been partially adopted.

A check on the ground reveals that even those two adopted are either on paper only or another law exists that ensures that the status quo is preserved. This message is clear for all who have eyes to see.

After all, even the new dawn government is an African regime, subject to the same historical and geopolitical inequities that most Afro countries have to face up to. When in opposition, it’s always easy to espouse the ideals of democracy that high income countries can afford to finance, but reality creeps in as soon as instruments of power are exchanged and real information is rendered to the new head of state.

We are sure that reality dawned unto the new dawn government the moment they admitted that they inherited an empty treasury. What they inherited is what most Afro governments inherit. And whenever they want to tax or control their main source of income, for Zambia which is copper, they face brick walls and resort to overtaxing their own citizens, a vicious cycle that eventually sees them hounded out of government.

The real problem that the new dawn government and any other predecessor government or indeed future government of Zambia faces is how to drive up the income levels for the government, locally owned business and individual households.

Below are the six priority recommendations that the EU observer mission report made after the 2021 elections of which NON has been implemented even as the 2026 elections draw closer:

1. The repeal of the Public Order Act and ensure law adherence to regional and international standards for freedom of assembly, movement and expression.

2. Revise candidacy requirements to enhance the right and the opportunity to stand by
ensuring registration fees do not deter participation and are refundable, and removing educational requirements for the right to stand.

3. To consider enacting a law on political parties stipulating registration requirements and guaranteeing internal party democracy, inclusivity, transparency and accountability, with adequate institutional oversight.

4. Remove from the law undue campaign privileges for the [incumbent] President and Vice-President to ensure equal campaign conditions for all candidates.

5. Enact a law on campaign finance including reporting requirements for political parties,
candidates, and traditional and social media. Income and expenditure reports have to be audited by a competent, independent body with investigative, sanctioning, and enforcement powers.

6. Formalise cooperation between the ECZ, civil society and main social media platforms to develop an efficient mechanism ensuring transparency of online campaigning, including
its financing and countering hate speech and disinformation.

As was said by the then EU Chief Observer post the 2021 elections, it is entirely up to Zambian authorities and institutions to take any of the recommendations on board. Well, the status quo speaks volumes, those recommendations may not be a priority.

The Opposition has also not been very organized in pushing for these reforms. It can also be argued that the opposition has been kept busy as history tells us by the pro-active political interference jabs which have seen most of them confined to fighting internal battles said to be sponsored by the ruling party.

The new dawn government has been giving the excuse that they have been dogged by economic problems and hence concentrated on economic reforms. But pursuing economic reforms in isolation without the support of governance reforms is a fruitless and useless endeavor. Because economic reforms achieved would easily get reversed with a change of regime if democratic safeguards are not adopted in parallel.

It remains to be seen how the new dawn government will navigate this delicate need to implement both economic and governance reforms that lead to a functional democracy. Otherwise, what’s the point of driving economic reforms without supporting governance reforms that ensure their longevity?

As it stands, even the Access to information Act though signed, is not functional. We as the Zambian Business Times – ZBT have tested it on the Zambia Tourism Agency – ZTA. We even went further and escalated the request to the Minister of Tourism as well as the Human Rights Commission.

As it stands, the Access to Information Act is currently not functional and excuses on lack of procedures are lame. Citizens are supposed to get the benefits from this law effective the date of sign off.

-Zambian Business Times


  1. Rubbish! Even Joe Biden uses state facilities during his campaigns. These recommendations should have come in 2016 and not appears even observer missions have found fertile ground in the new dawn government to propose recommendations which they failed to do to the erstwhile government.

  2. Pfidiot mwamba thinks if he writes as ZBT or even Zambia Reports we can’t tell it’s him. Mis and half information is the typical idiotic pertain. Ati we tested the Access to Information Act on Zambia Tourism Agency without stating what test and for what?? Complete idiot this one!!!


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