DURING the process leading to the filing in of Presidential nominations, political party Presidential candidates and their respective running mates, made an undertaking to respect the code of conduct.
By implication, the candidates were required to guide their members on the need to adhere to the prescribed rules governing the electoral process.
From the moral side, adherence to the electoral code reduces the chances of having post-election disputes.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia and the Zambia Police Service are among the key electoral stakeholders that have promulgated the standard rules which shall help the nation navigate during the electoral process.
In an event the political parties are dissatisfied on the decisions that are made by the electoral body or indeed any other election decision making body, it is expected that the established grievance procedure would be adhered to for the sake of maintaining the integrity of the electoral process.
This means, there is no need to create circumstances so that one create justification to lodge the petitions to challenge the validity of the outcome of the polls.
It is not expected of any electoral stakeholder, to wantonly defy the decision of the ECZ or the Police among others. In line with the oath candidates swore, it is expected that the political stakeholders keep their promise and commitment toward a peaceful poll.
There are reports suggesting that UPND president Hakainde Hichilema recently has been carrying processions attended by stage-managed and artificial crowds and some reports suggests that life was lost. We are told in some other parts of the country, there was the open defiance of the police order.
We find this extremely unfortunate especially that one can go as far as disrespecting the same institutions he is aspiring to be in charge of.
It is also unfortunate that leaders aspiring to hold office would sink so low to create an apprehension of being ill-treated yet they neglect the same vows they made during their nomination.
We urge, the leaders to remind themselves of the oath they made and we are fortified that with strict adherence to the code of conduct, the tensions are less likely as we head toward the elections.
MARVIN CHANDA MBERI, Kanchibiya.