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UPND APPLIES TO COURT TO COMPEL ECZ ALLOT PUBLIC MEDIA COVERAGE

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA                                                                       

UPND has applied for judicial review to compel the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to prescribe airtime to all political parties on ZNBC, radio and print media.

The opposition party through their Secretary General Batuke Imenda  is seeking a declaration that ECZ has abrogated its responsibility  under section 8 of the Electoral Code of Conduct to prescribe airtime to all public television, radio and print media for the benefit of all participating political parties and independent candidates for the forthcoming  national polls scheduled for the August 12, 2021 elections.

It wants an order of mandamus to remove into High Court for the purposes of compelling ECZ to prescribe the amount of airtime in any given language on  ZNBC, radio and print media.

Mr Imenda cited ECZ and Attorney General in the matter filed in the Ndola high Court.

And Ndola High will hear the application on June 17, this year.

On Thursday, Ndola High court judge Mary Mulanda granted UPND leave to apply for judicial review in respect of ECZ not allocating time on the mentioned media to political parties and independent candidates to canvass.

The Court stated that the prescription of airtime on public media to all political parties and independent candidates was highly necessary to enable all players’ equal campaign opportunities.

The Court however dismissed their application challenging the ban of campaign rallies.

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