By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is concerned with the escalating campaign violence witnessed especially in Lusaka and some selected parts of the country.
The Commission’s Corporate Affairs Manager Patricia Luhanga says the vice if left to escalate will undermine the credibility of the elections and the stability and peace of the country.
Ms Luhanga said that the perpetrators of violence are mainly from the ruling Patriotic Front and the United Party for National Development
“The Commission would like to categorically state that it will not hesitate to invoke the Electoral Process Act and suspend indefinitely all manner of physical campaigns for the two political parties should these violent acts continue, the commission further reminds all political players that violence undermines the credibility of an election and our call to the leadership is that they should prevail over their supporters,” she said.
Ms Luhanga has called on the Police to swiftly arrest and present for prosecution all those that will be found in breach of the code of conduct.
“From now hence forth, the Commission will be following the activities of both the PF and UPND with keen interest and should this continue, both parties risk being suspended, we would like to encourage all political players to be tolerant and promote coexistence as these are some of the key ingredients of a maturing democracy and the conduct of peaceful elections,” she said.
Ms Luhanga urged the Police to perform their duties in an impartial and professional manner.
“ECZ will not allow the country to degenerate into lawlessness during this period in the name of electoral activities and further calls on the electorate and political party supporters to desist from engaging in violence as it are not worth to die for any political leader. You are further risking your respective political party against applicable sanctions in the law, including disqualification,” she said.
This is according to a media statement issued by ECZ Corporate Affairs Manager Patricia Luhanga on behalf and for the chief electoral manager.