By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Political parties contesting the 2021 General Election directly or indirectly are set to sign a peace pledge as part of efforts to reaffirm their commitment to peaceful campaigns and upholding peace before, during and after elections.
Speaking ahead of the peace pledge signing ceremony, ZCID Board Chairperson Jackson Silavwe was optimism that the signing of the peace pledge would not only bind political parties morally but also ensure they speak peace to the nation.
Mr Silavwe said political parties will take necessary steps to address acts of electoral violence involving their members.
He said that the peace pledge will remind the political parties that they cannot rule a country that falls into conflict and therefore will strive to preserve peace by upholding the rule of law and using non-violent means to seek redress where the need arises.
Representing the three Church Mother Bodies in Zambia, Fr Emmanuel Chikoya said that the peace pledge was key towards sustaining peace in Zambia as it would be signed by the Presidents of the political parties.
He said party leadership was instrumental to how supporters conducted themselves.
And Koffi Sawyer, who is Political Officer (Southern Africa) at the Commonwealth Secretariat said Zambia was a valued member of the Commonwealth family and therefore the Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, was committed to supporting efforts towards promoting peace before, during and after the general elections.
The signing of the peace pledge is being spearheaded by the Coalition for Peaceful Elections in Zambia (CPEZ). It is a platform that is co-convened by the Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue (ZCID) and the Church Mother Bodies (CMB) and brings together strategic organizations whose main goal is to prevent electoral violence that was witnessed in past elections and recently in the country.