Wednesday, June 19, 2024

CCMG Urges Electoral Commission to Enforce Code of Conduct for Zambia’s Upcoming By-Elections

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The Christian Church Monitoring Group (CCMG) has challenged the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct without fear by invoking provisions of the law against any candidate or political party whose actions threaten peaceful and credible elections.

Some pockets of political related violence have been recorded in Chililabombwe and Serenje ahead of next week’s Ward by-elections.

Campaigns have heightened in Muchinda Ward of Serenje Town Council in, Chitimukulu Ward of Chililabombwe Town and Katilye Ward of Lupososhi Town Council in readiness for the ward by-elections.

CCMG Programme Manager Peter Mwanangombe said there is a need for peaceful campaigns and strict adherence to the Electoral Code of Conduct ahead of next week’s ward by elections in Chililabombwe and Serenje.

Mr. Mwanangombe said the faith based organisation condemns the violence reported in Serenje district in Muchinda ward and Chitimukulu Ward of Chililabombwe.

“CCMG Calls for Peaceful Campaigns, Professional Conduct of Law Enforcement Agents and Strict Adherence to the Electoral Code of Conduct Ahead of the Serenje and Chililabombwe 20 April 2023 Ward By-Elections 11 April 2023 As campaigns continue in Serenje and Chililabombwe districts ahead of the 20 April 2023 ward by-elections, CCMG would like to strongly condemn the violence in Serenje district in Muchinda ward. On 8th April 2023 our Long Term Observer in Muchinda ward reported having heard of two incidents of violence. In the first incident, UPND supporters allegedly attacked the Socialist Party President Dr. Fred M’membe and his party supporters at a campaign rally in Mulilima village in Muchinda. At the same time, CCMG is greatly concerned with the use of a firearm by Dr. Fred M’membe in public and the alleged assault of UPND members,” Mr. Mwanangombe stated.

Mr. Mwanangombe said there is a need for all stakeholders to support peaceful campaigns prior to elections.

“We are deeply concerned with the violence reported by our LTOs in Serenje in which UPND supporters caused damage to Socialist Party material and vehicles and we condemn the occurrence; equally, we are dismayed by the use of a firearm by Dr. M’membe and the consequent reported assault of UPND supporters”. In another related incident, our monitor reported that on 9th April 2023 UPND supporters stormed and attacked the Socialist Party constituency office in Mulilima Village in Muchinda ward where they made away with campaign materials belonging to the Socialist Party. CCMG calls on the Electoral Commission of Zambia to enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct without fear by invoking provisions of the law against any candidate or political party whose actions threaten peaceful and credible elections. Equally, the Zambia Police have a duty to provide security, maintain law and order and enforce the law. Our expectations of the Zambia Police therefore are that they perform their duties diligently without fear or favor and that they investigate all acts of violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct without discrimination,” he said.

Mwanangombe urged voters not to engage in any electoral malpractice including selling or offering to sell their voter’s cards and or NRCs ahead of the ward by-elections.

“We call on the police to prosecute those involved in violence to the full extent of the law, and we call on the ECZ to invoke provisions of the Electoral Code of Conduct against the two parties who clearly violated the Code’s provisions in the Electoral Process Act. CCMG would like to encourage the media to continue providing equal access and coverage to all political parties and contesting candidates. Media is not only a key stakeholder in the electoral process but a key carrier of political messages. CCMG urges the media to unreservedly and impartially play its key role of providing space for all the political parties and candidates to interact with electorates in order to allow entrenchment of democratic governance through the electoral process in our country. CCMG calls on all stakeholders to support peaceful campaigns and calls on voters not to engage in any electoral malpractice including sale or offering to sell their voter’s cards and or NRCs ahead of the 20 April 2023 ward by-elections,” Mr. Mwanangombe concluded.

1 COMMENT

  1. Don’t waste our time. The laws are there but nobody can apply them when the entire president is pulling the strings. The only thing that will save us is to clip some of the powers of the president.

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