Peace and stability should be promoted in order to have free and fair elections, says the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
Commenting on relatively peace atmosphere prevailing in Mangango constituency ahead of the parliamentary by-election on August 19, ECZ public relations manager Cris Akufuna said the Commission was satisfied with the prevailing environment.
Mr. Akufuna said he was hopeful that the peaceful environment exhibited so far by all stakeholders in the by-election would continue.
“We are satisfied with the current prevailing environment during the campaigns in Mangango. We have not received reports of violence in the area. We believe that people and stakeholders are observing the Electoral Code of Conduct squarely,” he said.
When asked to comment on the threats by the UPND that they would affect citizens’ arrest on district commissioners found campaigning for the Patriotic Front (PF) in Mangango, Mr. Akufuna said that it was not for the Commission to take action.
“Police are there to address that problem; it is not for us to speak for them. Ours is to conduct elections and so far so good, we are satisfied that political parties and others taking part in the election are adhering to the code of conduct,” said Mr. Akufuna.
Opposition UPND has threatened to arrest district commissioners and other government workers participating in the campaigns in Mangango constituency.
UPND officials have indicated that they will not tolerate any government official particularly district commissioners to campaign using government resources.
UPND officials in the area complained that district commissioners were using government vehicles to campaign for the PF candidate.
Mangango constituency fell vacant after the Supreme Court upheld the nullification of MMD’s Taundi Chiseke who was also deputy minister of commerce in the PF government.
Mr. Chiseke applied to be adopted on the PF ticket but was rejected in preference for Rodgers Lingweshi Lyambai.
UPND adopted Godwin Putu as its candidate, while UNIP are floating Janet Chingumbe, the only female candidate, while MMD is banking on Charles Mwenzala to return the seat.
Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) has Naluwa Mwene while Mukumbuta Kabuyana is contesting on the Fourth Revolution.