Patriotic Front Milanzi Constituency Member of Parliament Melesiana Phiri has condemned the growing culture of violence that is promoted and perpetuated by the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) across the country to silence anyone offering checks and balances.
“The lip service leadership of President Hichilema should be made to account for all these atrocities that known UPND cadres have been committing since their ascendancy to power” She said.
Melesiana vehemently castigated the UPND leadership who recently allowed it’s cadres to launch attacks on the PF’s campaign entourage led by the party’s Vice President Hon Given Lubinda.
“It is a known fact that UPND is losing in both Kaumbwe and Lusangazi by-elections and their resolve to beating up people and destroying property should be condemned by all well meaning Zambians”.
She added that Zambians needed to stop taking anything serious that comes from the UPND leadership because it was now clear that their plan was to say one thing in the morning and do the complete opposite in the night.
The Milanzi parliamentarian said that the PF will not be moved or shaken by any amount of violence from the UPND and promised more qualitative criticism from the Patriotic Front on all vital issues that concern the country.
Upon noticing signs of defeat in Eastern Province, the UPND recently caused an illegal arrest of the PF candidate in Lusangazi.
In panic, the UPND has in the last five days sent both it’s Vice President and the President to go and campaign in both Kaumbwe and Lusangazi.
Meanwhile, the electoral commission of Zambia issued the following statement regarding violence
ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF ZAMBIA STRONGLY CONDEMNS CAMPAIGN VIOLENCE IN KAUMBWE CONSTITUENCY
The Electoral Commission of Zambia has noted with serious concern the electoral violence ahead of the 21st October 2021 election, particularly in Kaumbwe Constituency, Petauke District.
The Commission has observed that the campaign atmosphere has been peaceful since the commencement of the campaigns throughout the seven districts where elections are being held. It is, therefore, regrettable and worrying to start recording violence with just few days before poll day.
The Commission has also noted that in the three instances where the Socialist Party, Democratic Party and Patriotic Front supporters have been attacked and campaign schedules disrupted in Kaumbwe Constituency, the perpetrators have mainly been suspected United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres.
The Commission would like to remind the UPND and all political parties participating in the elections that the Electoral Code of Conduct applies to this period of campaigns and must be adhered to without exception.
Additionally, the Commission is aware that all the cases of violence have been reported to the Zambia Police Service and therefore calls on the Police to expeditiously arrest and present for prosecution all those that will be found in breach of the law.
The Commission is calling upon the police to perform their duties in an impartial and professional manner.
The Commission is closely monitoring the conduct of political parties/candidates and their supporters, and would like to categorically state that it will not hesitate to invoke the Electoral Process Act and take appropriate action in the remaining days should these violent acts continue.
The Commission further reminds all political players that violence undermines the credibility of an election and calls on the leadership to prevail over their supporters.
The Commission has been consistent that it will not allow the country to degenerate into lawlessness during any election period and further calls on the electorates and political party supporters to desist from engaging in violence.
The Commission would like to encourage all political players to be tolerant and promote co-existence as these are some of the key ingredients of a maturing democracy and the conduct of peaceful elections.
Corporate Affairs Manager
For/The Chief Electoral Officer
ELECTORAL COMMISION OF ZAMBIA