ECZ cautions political parties against peddling rumours

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has implored political parties participating in the Kapiri Mponshi parliamentary By-elections next month to be factual.

ECZ Commissioner, Miniva Tembo says that political parties participating in the forth coming Kapiri Mponshi B y-elections should desist from peddling rumors that would undermine the process of holding credible and incident free elections.

Commissioner Tembo said political parties and their candidates should not engage in rumors mongering but remain factual in order to avoid misunderstandings and violence during the elections.

ZANIS reports that this was during an ECZ briefing of political parties, some candidates, agents and monitors taking part in the By-elections in Kapiri Mponshi, today.

Mrs. Tembo noted that violence in past elections in the country has been mostly fueled by rumor mongering and lack of understanding of the mandate and roles of the ECZ and other agencies involved in managing the electoral process.

Mrs. Tembo urged political parties, candidates and all stakeholders in the election to understand and operate within their roles and what was expected of them.

“In some instances the commission has been crucified on issues that the other agency such as the police should address that is because you do not understand the mandate and duties of ECZ”, Mrs. Tembo said.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Tembo has urged political parties to utilize the Conflict Resolution Committees based at district level to resolve conflicts that arise in an election.

“ It is not always that your grievances should reach the commission in Lusaka…we have structures such us the District Conflict Resolution Committees to attend and finalize your complaints make use of these structures,” Mrs. Tembo said.

And ECZ Senior Public Relations Officer, Sylvia Bwalya has assured the electorates in Kapiri Mponshi constituency that the commission will carry out enough sensitization to enable acceptable turnout of voters on the poll day.

Ms. Bwalya was reacting to concerns from some stakeholders who bemoaned inadequate sensitization of voters about the fourth coming by-elections in the district.

The stakeholders expressed concern that most electorates in the area were not aware of the by-election and feared there will be low voter turn-out.

The Kapiri Mposhi by-election became vacant after the Supreme Court’s nullification of the election of Lawrence Zimba (MMD) as area MP following a successful appeal by ruling PF losing candidate in the 2011 General Elections, Eddie Musonda.

The PF have re-odopted Mr. Musonda to re-contest the seat, the UPND has adopted former MP, Lawrence Zimba while UNIP has floated Francis Mwape.

Filling in of nominations is slated for today, 28th March 2013.

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