The list of foreign voters published by the Post newspaper was a complete fabrication, Police have revealed.
The list was apparently a scheme by the Post Newspaper in collusion with the UPND intended to discredit the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
The Police have since arrested some of the people involved in the scheme who will soon be appearing in court.
All the people that were reported as being foreigners in the Post Newspaper edition of July 5, 2016, that were in fact Zambians registered, under Chipangali constituency.
Eastern Province Police Commissioner Alex Chilufya has confirmed that after carrying out investigations, it had been established that the list of alleged foreign and ghost voters was manufactured by the UPND in collusion with the Post Newspaper.
Mr Chilufya said the 207 “Alien” voters of whom 29 were alleged to be Tanzanians and 178 to be Malawians, were all Zambians.
Mr Chilufya said that according to police investigations, the scheme was a collaborative action of the UPND and Post Newspaper in order to disenfranchise the voters and ultimately disadvantage the PF in the region where the party was popular.
Mr Chilufya said the scheme was both unconstitutional and criminal in nature.
Sources have also revealed to the Daily Nation that when The Post published the story of foreign and ghost voters, the police decided to investigate the matter in order to find out the truth. They interviewed Chief Chanje and Chieftainess Nkanda of the Chewa-speaking people of Chipata.
Application forms for the National Registration Cards and affidavit in respect of each alleged foreign or ghost voter’s name listed were looked at to establish their respective villages and deponents.
The Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship (NRPC) were equally visited apart from following the said voters to their villages in accordance with the information obtained from NRCP.
“The team was informed by Chief Chanje that he had received a report from Alaina Phiri, who is village headwoman Katamanda, that some criminals went to the latter’s house and stole a bag, at gunpoint, which contained K5,000 cash and some voters cards which she had obtained from some people in her village and surrounding areas.
“Alaina Phiri was summoned to the chief’s palace where she reported in the company of Mary Manda who stays in the same village. The chief then handed the two over to the team for further investigations,” sources said.
A Mr Tumeyo Phiri, who is village headman Mbobo and the UPND chairman for Rukuzye ward, recruited some people in the area to collect voters’ cards from all registered voters in her village and those from the surrounding areas.
Ms Mary Manda had confessed that she was assigned to go round the village to collect voters’ cards from all registered voters by the village head woman Katamanda and that she was promised to be paid a lot of money at the end of the exercise.
And the police command in Eastern Province said they had arrested some of the suspects who were collecting voters’ cards the list of which was later published in the Post Newspaper to discredit ECZ.
The publication of the false list of foreign and ghost voters were also meant to accuse the PF of attempting to rig the elections and prepare ground for the UPND to violently dispute the results.
Mr Chilufya said the two suspects have been arrested and charged with an offence of illegal practices relating to the poll contrary to section 86 (1) and section 87 of the Electoral Process Act no. 12 of 2016 as read with section 21 (1) (c) of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the laws of Zambia.
Mr Chilufya said the information gathered by police investigations suggested that voters’ cards had been collected from areas considered to be strongholds of the PF.