By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has with immediate effect suspended indefinitely, subject to review, all manner of political campaigns in Ikelenge and Sioma districts.
The affected parties are UPND and Independent parliamentary candidate Albert Mundia in the two districts.
The commission did this in pursuant to Article 229, Sub-article 2 (e) of the Republican Constitution and Subparagraphs 4 (1) (c) (d) (i) and 11 (d) of the Electoral Code of Conduct.
Acting Chief Electoral Officer Royd Katongo said in the same vein, the Zambia Police should not allow any political activities by the affected party and candidate
“In this regard, the UPND and Independent candidate Albert Mundia will not be allowed to conduct any form of campaigns in the said districts,” he said.
The ECZ issued a statement on Friday 11th June 2021 noting with serious concern the escalating political violence in selected parts of the country.
The commssion further noted that these were mainly attributed to the Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND).
And, Mr Katongo said the Commission reminded the political parties and candidates that the Electoral Code of Conduct which their leaders swore oath to applies to this period of campaigns and must be adhered to without exception.
Mr Katongo said the Commission has sadly observed the continued disregard of the Electoral Code of Conduct and the signed Peace Accords.
“Despite the counsel rendered, the vice has continued and thus far, escalated levels of violence were experienced in the following districts Chisamba in Central Province – Ikelenge. The Commission is still reviewing other cases reported in Chisamba, Lusaka and Mumbwa, and appropriate action will be taken against any perpetrator for any violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct,” he said.
Mr Katongo added that the Commission has also urged the media to provide fair, accurate and balanced reporting to all stakeholders in the electoral process.
He also emphasized the need for the media to abide by the electoral code of conduct in election reporting.