North western chiefs win praise for being non-partisan

The Anti Voter Apathy Project, (AVAP) has commended chiefs in Solwezi for not involving themselves in the ongoing political campaigns for the November 19, 2009, parliamentary by-elections in Solwezi.

AVAP Executive Director, Bonnie Tembo, expressed happiness that all the chiefs in the district have not participated in any of the political rallies that have been conducted by various political parties to drum up support for their candidates in Solwezi Central parliamentary by-election.

Mr. Tembo said there was need for traditional leaders to maintain their dignity because they were the custodians of traditional heritage in the country.

He told ZANIS in Lusaka today that other chief in the country should emulate their counterparts in Solwezi.

Mr. Tembo further said there was need for all political parties not to ferry cadres from areas outside a constituency where there is a by-election.

He also asked political parties to educate their cadres not to involve themselves into violent activities and to disarm them cadres and ensure that they did not carry pangas during campaigns.

He noted that the people who were causing violence were not those from Solwezi but those from outside.
Mr. Tembo also since challenged all political parties to desist from calling each other names but urged them to articulate real issues that affect the living standards of people in that particular constituency.

He has meanwhile, expressed fear that the Solwezi by-elections might be characterized by voter apathy if the heavy rains currently experienced continue up to the polling day.

The Solwezi parliamentary seat fell vacant after the death of Ben Tetamashimba, who was Member of Parliament under the MMD ticket over a month ago.

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