President Rupiah Banda says he has ordered the police to arrest any person who will attempt to engage into violence during or after voting on Tuesday.
And president Banda has advised Zambians to vote and go to enjoy the rest of the day.
Speaking Sunday evening on all ZNBC channels, president Banda said he hoped that the rumors that there will be violence are just rumors.
President Banda said any person who will try to attempt the peace should accept no mercy or favor but the full force of the law.
President Banda advised against early celebrations saying people must wait until the last vote has been counted and the winner declared by the electoral body.
President Banda said casting a vote takes a few minutes and advised voters to cast their votes and to enjoy the rest of the day which will be a public holiday.
President Banda said Zambians cherish peace and that democracy can only work when citizens participate.
He explained that it is only in exercising democracy that all people are made equal. He said a chief, manager, shepherded and president all have one vote each.
President Banda said the whole world is watching what is happening in Zambia.
He said no one should be allowed to smear Zambia’s reputation as a peaceful country.
Below is what president Banda said word for word:
I ADDRESS YOU TONIGHT IN MY CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT OF THEREPUBLICOFZAMBIA. IN JUST TWO DAYS’ TIME, THE POLLING STATIONS WILL BE CLOSING AND THE 2011 TRIPARTITE ELECTIONS WILL BE AT AN END. IT WILL BE FOR THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OFZAMBIA(ECZ) TO THEN COUNT THE VOTES CAST AND OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE THE RESULTS AS THEY COME IN. THESE 2011 ELECTIONS ARE NOT OVER UNTIL THE FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE OFFICIAL RESULTS BY THE COMMISSION.
I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR MYSELF AND MY PARTY WHEN I SAY THAT WE WILL ABIDE BY THE RESULTS. I HOPE THAT ALL THE OTHER PARTIES CONTESTING THE ELECTIONS WILL ALSO PLEDGE TO ABIDE BY THE FINAL RESULTS. MY MAIN CONCERN IN THE REMAINING TIME IS THAT ALL CANDIDATES, ALL PARTIES AND ALL SUPPORTERS CONDUCT THEMSELVES WITHIN THE LAWS OF OUR LAND. THE LAW IS VERY CLEAR; AS OF 06:00 HOURS TODAY, THE CAMPAIGN PERIOD CAME TO AN END AND THERE SHOULD BE NO MORE CAMPAIGNING.
SO I URGE ALL TO OBSERVE THE 48-HOUR BAN ON CAMPAIGNING. I AM VERY AWARE THAT IN THIS PERIOD, PEOPLE CAN BECOME IMPATIENT AND BE INFLUENCED BY RUMOURS AND STORIES.
I URGE AND EXPECT ALL ZAMBIANS TO MAINTAIN CALM AND HOLD BACK ON ANY PREMATURE CELEBRATIONS OR COMMISERATIONS UNTIL AFTER THE ECZ HAS OFFICIALLY REPORTED THE FINAL RESULTS. THERE HAS BEEN MUCH RUMOUR– AND I HOPE THAT IT IS JUST RUMOUR– THAT THERE WILL BE VIOLENCE.
TO THOSE WHO MAY BE CONTEMPLATING ANY ILLEGAL ACTS OR INTIMIDATION OR– EVEN WORSE– PHYSICAL VIOLENCE, I HAVE THIS MESSAGE FOR YOU: I HAVE ORDERED THE POLICE TO ARREST AND PROSECUTE ALL THOSE WHO OFFEND. EXPECT NO MERCY, EXPECT NO FAVOUR, EXPECT ONLY THE FULL FORCE OF THE LAW TO COME DOWN ON YOU.
WE, THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE, ARE PROUD OF OUR DEMOCRACY AND THE FACT THAT WE ARE A NATION OF PEACE AND STABILITY. NOBODY WILL BE ALLOWED TO SMEAR THE GOOD REPUTATION OF OUR COUNTRY DURING THESE NEXT FEW DAYS. THE WORLD IS WATCHING US. ELECTION OBSERVERS ARE AMONGST US. JOURNALISTS WILL BE REPORTING ON HOW WE CONDUCT OURSELVES. LET US NOT DISAPPOINT THEM AS VIOLENCE HASNO PLACEIN A DEMOCRACY
I KNOW THAT YOU WILL WELCOME THESE VISITORS INTO OUR COUNTRY. BE HOSPITABLE AND SHOW THEM RESPECT. SHOW THEM THAT ZAMBIANS ARE FRIENDLY PEOPLE WHO RESPECT THE LAW. SHOW THEM THAT WE RESPECT THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS. SHOW THEM THAT WE ARE MATURE ENOUGH TO ACCEPT THE OFFICIAL RESULTS – WHATEVER THEY MAY BE.
EIGHT WEEKS OF CAMPAIGNING IS AT AN END. THE PARTIES HAVE MADE THEIR CASE. SOME CANDIDATES WILL HAVE IMPRESSED YOU; SOME WILL HAVE NOT. IT IS NOW FOR ALL ZAMBIANS TO WEIGH UP THE OPTIONS AND TO CAST YOUR VOTE ACCORDINGLY. WHO CAN YOU TRUST TO BE THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR YOUR WARD, YOUR CONSTITUENCY AND FOR STATE HOUSE? WHICH PARTY HAS THE BEST POLICIES FORZAMBIA?
ONLY YOU CAN ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS. ON 20TH SEPTEMBER, WE ALL HAVE JUST ONE VOTE. DEMOCRACY GIVES EACH PERSON THE SAME STATUS. A MANAGER AND HIS WORKERS ALL HAVE JUST ONE VOTE EACH. A CHIEF AND A SHEPHERD HAVE JUST ONE VOTE EACH. AND I, AS PRESIDENT, HAVE A SINGLE VOTE. ON ELECTION DAY, WE ARE ALL EQUAL.
DEMOCRACY FAVOURS NO ONE PERSON OVER THE OTHER. JUST OVER FIVE MILLION OFUSARE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE. I URGE YOU ALL TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF A PROCESS THAT NORMALLY ONLY HAPPENS EVERY FIVE YEARS. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHICH PARTY FORMS THE NEXT GOVERNMENT. BUT DEMOCRACY ONLY WORKS WHEN PEOPLE PARTICIPATE.
IN ORDER TO INCREASE PARTICIPATION, I HAVE DECIDED TO MAKE TUESDAY, 20TH SEPTEMBER, 2011 A NATIONALHOLIDAY.
CASTING YOUR VOTE ONLY TAKES A FEW MINUTES. ONCE YOU HAVE CAST YOUR VOTE, THEN ENJOY THE REST OF THE DAY OFF PEACEFULLY. THOSE WHO DO NOT VOTE DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO CRITICISE.
HAVE YOUR VOTE AND HAVE YOUR SAY FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. SO ON TUESDAY, GET TO THE POLLING STATIONS EARLY TO CAST YOUR VOTE. AND, PLEASE, HAVE PATIENCE. THIS ELECTION WILL SEE THE MOST EVER VOTES CAST IN OUR NATION’S HISTORY.
I KNOW THE ELECTION OFFICIALS WILL WORK HARD TO MAKE THE PROCESS AS EFFICIENT AS POSSIBLE. YOUR VOTE IS PRECIOUS. SO CAST IT WITH PRIDE. I URGE YOU ALL TO DO SO IN A SPIRIT OF BROTHERLY LOVE AND PEACE.
MAY GOD BE WITHZAMBIAAND BLESS US ALL WITH THE POWER TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR OUR BELOVED COUNTRY. GOOD NIGHT.