President Edgar Lungu says adequate security has been put in place as the country goes for polls tomorrow August 12, 2021. President Lungu explains that the deploying of police officers and other defence wings is meant to curb lawlessness during the election period.
The Head of State has since assured the public that tomorrow’s voting will be conducted in a peaceful and conducive environment.
He stressed that there is a government in place even as people exercise their democratic right tomorrow adding that He will only hand over power after the election results are announced.
“ There is a government in place even as people exercise their democratic right tomorrow. I will only hand over power after the election results are announced,” he said.
President Lungu furthermore urged the contenders in tomorrow’s general elections to allow Electoral Commission of Zambia ( ECZ ) to do its job professionally.
In his speech today during the last PF virtual rally held at Mulungushi international conference centre, President Lungu dwelt mainly on the need to uphold peace before, during and after the election results are announced.
He advised political parties taking part in tomorrow’s polls to emulate the PF for not resorting to violence after having lost the 2001, 2006, and 2008 elections.
“ The then PF leader late Michael State restrained members from engaging in political violence after losing the elections three times in a role, “ he said.
He counseled the victors of tomorrow’s polls not to habour anger or vengeance against the losers of the general elections.
Meanwhile President Lungu took a swipe at people who have been approaching him to accept defeat in tomorrow’s polls.
President Lungu wondered the motive of the people who have been asking him to accept defeat even before the votes are cast.
“ How the PF administration can lose the elections after having delivered development in parts of the country, “ he questioned.
Citing the energy sector his administration has invested massively in a bid to curb power blackouts in the country, President Lungu said the country now has enough energy to even export in the sub-region.
And speaking earlier at the same event, President Lungu’s running mate Professor Nkandu Luo has urged Zambians to vote for the PF party in tomorrow’s general elections.
Pro Luo implored women, men and youths to turnout in large numbers tomorrow and vote President Lungu for another term.
Meanwhile, -Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja says 12, 152 police officers will be deployed across the country to police all the polling stations during the general elections on Thursday, August 12, 2021.
Mr. Kanganja said despite the inadequate number of police officers, the Zambia Police is ready to enforce the law in order to ensure peace prevails during Thursday’s general elections.
The Police Chief explained in a press statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka today that all the 12, 152 polling stations will be manned by one police officer and other reinforcements.
Mr. Kanganja said that Zambia falls short of the international policing standard of one police officer to 250 people noting that the country has a ratio of one police officer policing 1,000 people.
He said this compelled the police service to seek reinforcements from other state security agencies such as the defence force, Zambia Correctional Service, Immigration and Zambia Wildlife Authority, who will maintain security within the 400 radius of the polling stations.
Mr. Kanganja explained that the presence of military personnel is not intended to intimidate the electorate and members of the general public but to maintain law and order, save life and property and uphold human rights.
“The police service and the defence force are working towards a common goal in this election, that of ensuring that people cast their vote in a peaceful environment without any intimidation from anyone and ensuring that communities are kept safe during and after the election,” he said.
He further said reinforcements will help the police to quell pockets of political violence being recorded across the country and ensure that heinous crimes committed by political cadres in the 2016 general elections are prevented.
He said the political violence has led to loss of lives and property hence the police will not let that to recur and disrupt the electoral process.
Mr. Kanganja has since urged political parties to comply when the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) closes campaigns on Wednesday at 18 hours.
He said police and the military have been directed to arrest anyone campaigning after the deadline as it is a breach of the electoral code of conduct.
The Police Chief reiterated that no political party regalia and loitering at polling stations within 400 metres will be allowed at polling stations and that no illegal public gatherings will be entertained.
He said police officers have been directed to be vigilant, alert and firm and use the provisions of the law to deal with law breakers during this election period.
Mr. Kanganja assured the general public of safety and urged the electorate not to fear and shun the polls but turn up in large numbers to vote.
The police chief warned people against alarming the nation by posting unverified statements and results on social media.
“I am warning individuals and groupings with such tendencies that they risk being arrested once found. Police will closely work with ZICTA to ensure that such individuals are caged,” said Mr. Kanganja.
He urged peace loving Zambians to work with the police and report all malpractices and violence, and make usage of the toll free lines of 9010 and 9011.