THE MMD says there is nothing wrong with the Electoral Commission of Zambia rescheduling dates for the commencement of the voter registration exercise.
And the Patriotic Front (PF) is not worried about the rescheduling of dates for starting the registration exercise.
The ECZ has postponed the start of the exercise from August 17, to September 14, 2015 due to delay in buying equipment and materials needed for the task.
MMD national secretary Mwansa Mbulakulima said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that people should not panic over the postponement because ECZ is doing everything possible within its mandate to ensure that the exercise is conducted as planned.
“What the Commission has done has given the Zambian people who have no national registration cards (NRCs) more time to ensure that they obtain the documents.
“We are advising our people to ensure that they obtain NRCs so that when the voter registration exercise starts they register,” Mr Mbulakulima said.
PF secretary general Davies Chama said the ruling party is not worried about the changed dates.
“We have no problems as PF when it comes to the postponement of the dates because we know that ECZ still has more time to conduct the exercise, even the voter verification exercise,” Mr Chama said in an interview.
UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa said in a separate interview that the party is disappointed that the ECZ has rescheduled the dates.
Mr Mweetwa said the rescheduling of the exercise could result in the ECZ rushing the exercise and deny potential voters the opportunity to register.
Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director MacDonald Chipenzi said it is sad that ECZ decided to announce the voter registration dates before it had all logistics in place.
Meanwhile, Government has appealed to all political parties participating in the forthcoming parliamentary by-elections in Petauke Central, Malambo and Mulobezi to conduct peaceful and issue-based campaigns.
Chief government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that peaceful campaigns will provide an opportunity for the electorate in the three constituencies to exercise their democratic right of choosing a member of Parliament (MP) of their choice.
“We are asking all political parties that are participating in the three parliamentary by-elections to embrace peace and not to fight during the campaigns.
“We want to have free and fair elections in the three by-elections and we don’t want political parties that are participating in the by-elections to ferry cadres from Lusaka to the constituencies where the by-elections will be held. This creates confusion and leads to violence,” he said.
Mr Kambwili, who is Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, said all political parties should observe the provisions of the Public Order Act as they conduct political activities.
He also advised youths not to incite violence or allow themselves to be used as tools of political violence by selfish political leaders.
“We are urging our youths not to accept to be used as tools of violence because they are our future leaders.
“They must condemn political leaders that incite young people to engage in violence because Zambia has always been known for as a peaceful nation and this is what we want to continue,” Mr Kambwili said.
He appealed to all registered voters in the three constituencies to turn out in large numbers and vote for their preferred candidates who will bring meaningful development to their areas and uplift living standards.
Mr Kambwili also advised all political parties participating in the elections to adhere to the Electoral Code of Conduct.