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ECZ LIFTS CAMPAIGN BAN AS PF, UPND SEAL PEACE PACT

By ADRIAN MWANZA

THE Zambia Police has sent a stern warning to the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Patriotic Front (PF) after the lifting of the partial suspension of campaigns in Lusaka.

Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja said they would not tolerate lawlessness irrespective of the party and called on the parties to avoid involving themselves in violent acts

Mr Kanganja said this during the signing of a peace accord among PF, UPND, Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and the Zambia Police in Lusaka yesterday.

He said that it was unfortunate that property worth over K1, 800, 000 had been destroyed by political cadres involving political violence across the country.

Mr Kanganja said that the police had arrested over 60 people involved in political violence across the country and that they were still pursuing some more who were involved in the act.

He said that police officers had been deployed in all the 10 provinces to quell potential political violence heading into the August 12 elections.

Meanwhile, speaking at the same event, PF secretary general Davis Mwila said that both parties had agreed not to provoke each other.

Mr Mwila said the meeting which was held by the stakeholders concluded that parties needed to refrain from tearing each other’s campaign materials which had become a common trend.

“The PF will stick to its campaign promises like giving our schedules to the police and conducting our campaigns peacefully, this call should be taken seriously by all the members of the party,” Mr Mwila said.

And Mr Batuke Imenda, the UPND secretary general said they were committed to maintain peace in the country.

Mr Imenda said that vandalising campaign materials was becoming a big problem and called on all the political players to stop.

“I want to urge the police to be impartial when executing their duties and should not be seen to be favouring certain individuals,” he said.

ECZ chief electoral officer Patrick Nshindano said that the partial suspension of the campaigns had been lifted and was hoping that the two front runners the PF and UPND would abide by the rules.

Mr Nshindano said signing of the resolutions was a major milestone and was confident that the stakeholders would fulfil their pledge.

“I’m hoping that the two parties will not backtrack on the pledge to maintain peace heading to the August 12 elections,” Mr Nshindano said.

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