Political parties participating in the Chilanga District Chairperson By-Election on 26 July have taken measures to end violence in the district by drawing up ten resolutions which were signed by the parties, the Police and the District Electoral Officer who is also the Council Secretary.
Among the resolutions signed by UPND, PF and UPPZ, Police and the Council Secretary was a call to political parties not to import cadres to the district during the campaign period and command centres to be immediately disbanded after the campaign period ends on 25th July as well as voters to leave polling stations immediately after voting.
Accrding to the statement released to the media by Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) public Relations Manager, Ms Margaret Chimanse, the parties also resolved that offensive weapons should not be carried during the campaign period while door to door campaigns were restricted to three people and campaign messages to be issue based with no character assassination.
The parties further resolved to abide by the district campaign schedule and called for enhanced police presence at polling stations while maintaining routine patrols. It is hoped that these measures shall help maintain peace during campaigns and poll day for the Commission to deliver credible elections.
Meanwhile, United Party for National Development (UPND) Spokesperson Charles Kakoma has denied reports from PF that the UPND cadres attacked the residence of Karen Mukata, young sister to former Chilanga Member of Parliament Hon Keith Mukata.
According to PF reports, Ms Mukata’s residence, which is being used as a PF election center, was attacked by UPND cadres in the presence of their candidate Mr. George Muleya and UPND Chilanga Ward councillor Misheck Mweemba and a UPND lady Mrs Mafosi who is Ms. Mukata’s neighbour. The report also alleged that UPND criminals went away with a Television and Radio set belong to Ms. Mukata.
However, Mr Charles Kakoma said that those that attacked Ms. Mukata were not UPND members.
And PF Member of the Central Committee Kebby Mbewe has condemned the violent attacks by suspected UPND cadres on Karen Mukata’s residence. Mr. Mbewe who is also Chilanga Council Elections Campaign Manager said that it was disappointing that the attack comes shortly after the PF and UPND held a meeting with the Electoral Commission of Zambia to hold peaceful council elections.
Mr Mbewe advised UPND leader Hakainde Hachilema to denounce violence as President Edgar Lungu has done on several occasions. Mr. Mbewe said the attacks on Ms. Mukata are unfortunate and must not be condoned in anyway.
He was speaking shortly after he visited the residence to check on the victim and extent of the damage to property.
And Ms. Mukata who narrated her ordeal to ZNBC News said the cadres also went away with property which included a flat screen television set and a radio and that the matter has been reported to police.