The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says that the Zambia Police has no mandate to ban political rallies or set up an election time-table including a campaign timetable which should be respected by all stakeholders.
In a press statement released in Livingstone on Monday afternoon, ECZ Public Relations Manager Chris Akufuna said that the commission has learnt with regrets the statement made by Deputy Inspector of Police Dr Solomon Jere who yesterday banned public rallies during the campaigns in the Livingstone constitutively by-elections.
Mr. Chris Akufuna reiterated that political campaigns, including rallies for both Mpongwe and Livingstone constituencies will end tomorrow, Tuesday, 26th February at 06:00hours as stated in the in an earlier statements issued by the commissions on 10th October, 2013.
“The ECZ has noted with regret the statement made by Dr Jere banning public rallies during campaigns in Livingstone by-election and I wish to reiterate that political campaigns including rallies will end tomorrow the 26th of February at exactly 06:00 hours,” Mr. Akufuna said.
He stated that the commissions was not aware of any ban of party campaigns as stated by Dr Jere who yesterday announced the ban of all political campaigns in both Livingstone and Mpongwe .
“The commissions is not aware of any ban of political campaigns as announced by Dr Jere and I want to state that it is the mandate of the commission to set up election time table, including a campaign time table which should be adhered to by all political parties and stakeholders without exception ,” he said.
“The commission therefore regrets the confusion that has risen from the statement made by Dr Jere” he added.
He explained that the current position of the commission is that the official campaign period ends tomorrow at 06:00 hours.
Yesterday Dr Jere announced the close of campaign activities in both Mpongwe and Livingstone by-elections set for February 28th, 2013