WHILE it is a fact that Zambia has been consistently holding regular elections every after five years, the upcoming elections will be held extremely under new circumstances.
Of course there are lessons that can be drawn from other democracies which have endured the Covid-infested environment to honour their constitutional obligation.
However, care should be taken to strike a balance between democratic processes and public health.
It will all be in vain for us to fulfill the electoral processes, usher in leaders who will preside over the population that would have been massively infected and others increasing the statistics for the death toll.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia has given guidance on dispensing with public rallies while encouraging members to utilise alternative means of communicating with their electorates.
It seems, other stakeholders and UPND in particular have shown determination to use defiance of the request as a yardstick to test waters on their ability to repel state institutions after elections.
We have seen some videos making rounds were catapult wielding youths were apparently aiming at the police. We find this unfortunate and an act of lawlessness which should have no place in a civilised society as ours.
In the past we have heard much from UPND President Hakainde Hichilema claiming to care about the welfare of the police officers. We find that unruly conduct by the UPND cadres toward police officers to be inconsistent with the void claims of police solidarity by Mr Hichilema.
We wonder why this recklessness in mobilising huge crowds in the midst of the pandemic. To the best of our recollection the guidance from ECZ represent a cumulative and collective wisdom with various stakeholders including health experts.
We have also heard claims that the officers aimed at shooting Mr Hichilema. We appeal to him to report the incident backed by necessary facts to the relevant institutions.
We find it extremely strange that Mr Hichilema continue reciting the same stale shooting claim each time he has an encounter with police.
We therefore advise Mr Hichilema to assemble his technical team that would render impartial advice to him on the responsibilities expected of him in an event he is elected President. Otherwise as things stands, he should brace himself to engage the PF on issue-based politics as the issues affecting the Zambian people matters most.
MARVIN CHANDA MBERI,