By NATION REPORTER
THE Patriotic Front has petitioned the Electoral Commission of Zambia to stop Socialist Party presidential candidate, Fred M’membe from illegally embarking on early election campaigns using the Mast Newspaper.
The party said it was illegal to start campaigns before the three months prior to an election provided for by the constitution.
According to the Electoral Process Act number 35 of 2016, “campaign period” means a period of three months before the holding of an election.
PF Eastern Province chairperson, Andrew Lubusha observed that Mr M’membe had been advertising himself to electorates using the newspaper.
Mr Lubusha said Mr M’membe had also been discrediting other political leaders using his paper while presenting himself as the messiah.
He said it was unlawful for Mr M’membe to use his media house to start early campaigns because ECZ had not given a green light to campaigns.
“The constitution is clear that campaigns will only be allowed 90 days before a general election,” said Mr Lubusha
Mr Lubusha called on ECZ to take punitive action against Mr M’membe for defying constitutional provisions.
And PF national chairperson for elections, Yamfwa Mukanga said Mr M’membe should man up and stop hiding behind his newspaper to carry out illegalities.
He said it was unfortunate that Mr M’membe could go as far as attacking defenseless citizens.
“it is unfortunate that Mr M’Membe through his Mast Newspaper has continued with baseless attacks on President Edgar Lungu,” he said.
Mr Mukanga said Media bodies such as MISA Zambia should censure Mast newspaper over their continued use of unpalatable and insulting language that has potential to bring chaos in the country.
“Mr M’membe should stop hiding behind his newspaper and man up in his quest to build his political career, baseless attacks will not help anyone win an election,” Mr Mukanga said.
Mr Mukanga said it was wrong for Mr M’Membe to continue attacking people that can not defend themselves using the same platform.
He said all Zambians should condemn continued abuse of the media M’Membe to advance his political agenda.
“Media should be factual and objective but this is not the case with M’membe’s Mast newspaper because it is a tool for attacking citizens like President Lungu that cannot defend themselves using the same platform,”Mr Mukanga said.
He said it was important for politicians to talk about their agenda for the nation as opposed to unnecessary and disrespectful attacks against the head of state.