Election campaigns not free and fair-UPND


By Nation Reporter

THE opposition UPND has charged that this year’s political campaigns are not free and fair.

UPND chairperson for international relations Ambassador Mulondwe Muzungu claimed that the ruling PF was doing all sorts of things to cling on to power.

Mr Muzungu said, at a press briefing, that the campaigns were not free and fair because the PF was playing dirty politics in its desperate attempt to cling on to power against the will of the people.

He claimed the PF was perpetuating violence by attacking the opposition members and also making attempts to rig the elections.

Mr Muzungu noted that rigging of elections was a recipe for civil strife in any given country.

He said the PF had manipulated the Public Order Act to constrain the operations of the opposition.

“Opposition leaders have to struggle to exercise their freedom of movement, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

We do this under difficult conditions,” said Mr Muzungu

He said the Zambia police which was supposed to be a service had resorted to work with the PF cadres to traumatise the people, a situation he said was a sad state of affairs.

“In doing all this, the PF government is contravening the highest law of the land, the Republican Constitution,” he said.

He explained that according to Article 45 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zambia, the citizens of Zambia were free to exercise their political rights.

“This means that a person is at liberty to belong to a party or to support a candidate of their choice. It also means that political parties must be in a position to convince by way of reasoning, by explaining what they have in a particular area so that they convince the people, that is how the people can make their choice of which way to go and they should be free to do that.

“Further the Article states that election campaigns shall be free from violence, intimidation and corruption,” he explained.

He said in a political dispensation when intimidation, corruption and violence were present during the campaigns, it was a clear indication of the elections not being free and fair.

He said the PF stood accused and guilty of perpetuating violence against the provisions of the Republican Constitution as amended including massive corruption.

He also accused the PF of barring the opposition from media coverage especially the public media institutions.

“So, this is the situation under which the opposition especially the UPND is carrying out its campaigns. Very, very difficult situation,” he said.