The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) says any person who discriminates any person in an election can be imprisoned if convicted by a court of law.
FODEP President Stanely Mhango says under the electoral code of conduct regulations, 2006 regulation 7 sub regulation 1, a person shall not discriminate any person on grounds of race, ethnicity, gender, or any manner in connection with an election or political activity.
In a press release seen by the Watchdog, Mhango said FODEP is concerned at the deliberate contravention of the electoral code of conduct by political parties participating in the Kasama By-election.
Mhango was speaking in apparent reference to remarks by PF candidate Bwalya Mwamba who has stated that the people of Kasama should vote for a Bemba candidate.
He said the code clearly states that any person who contravenes sub regulation 1 commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 2 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not more than two years.
Mhango urged political party leaders to condemn their members practicing tribalism during campaigns.
He said their continuous silence on the matter was a sign of approval to what is happening in Kasama.
He advised aggrieved parties to lodge an official complaint to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and other relevant structures to enforce the relevant provisions of the code against the violators.
Mhango also noted that that his organization was alive to the fact that ECZ has no powers under the current provisions in the code to disqualify any person abrogating the code of conduct.
He said the commission is mandated under regulation 10 sub regulation 1 (D) to censure all acts done by leaders of political parties, candidates, supporters, government and its organs which are aimed at jeopardizing elections or done in contravention of the code.