By Nation Reporter
THE cancellation of political party rallies and other campaign activities is a direct threat to Zambia’s democracy as it infringes on the rights to assemble and associate, says UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma.
But Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) public relations manager Cris Akufuna said the commission would soon table the violent events that happened on Friday, July 8, 2016 to determine whether it would be necessary to cancel political public activities.
Mr Kakoma said there was no violence in Lusaka or anywhere else for the ECZ to call for the cancellation of campaign activities in or around Lusaka.
His comments followed the violence last Friday where UPND cadres were involved in violent confrontation with Police resulting in the loss of an innocent life.
“We do not agree with the proposition to cancel political campaigns in Lusaka because of the purported violence owing to a small mishap. “There is no violence in Lusaka, just a small fracas that happened yesterday (Friday). That proposal is rejected with all the seriousness it deserved,” he said.
Mr Kakoma said the UPND recently had a peaceful public rally in Bauleni where they had adequate police protection and wondered how the same police service could cancel the Chawama rally on security concerns when they had managed to host the Bauleni one.
He accused the ruling PF of scheming against them (UPND) as they had gained sufficient ground to ascertain their victory in the forthcoming general elections.
He said assertions that public campaigns must be cancelled were a gimmick by the ruling party to stop the opposition from campaigning so as to lose ground in their crusade to forming the next Government after August 11, 2016 polls.
“If the police are concerned with the security, then they must provide the adequate security and not put up excuses that they are cancelling meetings because of security concerns, adding that “there was no violence in Lusaka, just a minor fracas”.