THE country’s democracy once again takes centre stage as Lusaka’s Kabwata parliamentary constituency holds a by-election to replace late UPND Member of Parliament Levy Mkandawire.
This is the second by-election to be held since the historic August 12, 2021 tripartite elections that ushered the United Party for National Development into government.
That election saw Mr Hakainde Hichilema of the UPND becoming the seventh President, taking over from the Patriotic Front’s Edgar Lungu.
In what has so far been an incident-free campaign period, we hope the candidates and their supporters will maintain the peace that has prevailed in the run-up to today’s voting.
All the candidates are expected to respect the choice of the electorate and accept the outcome of the vote.
The candidates, and indeed their supporters must all realise that they are one people albeit holding different political views.
We believe that each of the candidates on the ballot paper has offered his or her self to serve the constituency and the nation at large.
What is at stake is not an individual’s ego, but being given a chance to lead the constituency and represent the people in parliament.
They ought to realise that being elected MP comes with added responsibilities of not only being answerable to the party that has sponsored them, but all residents across the political divide.
Their focus should be to unite the Kabwata constituents into a unit that will work together to develop the constituency and make it a better place for all.
If anything, there won’t be any winners or losers in this by-election. The ultimate victor will the the nation and what it stands for to ensure that democracy prevails.
We are elated that the Zambia Police Service have deployed enough police officers on the ground to maintain law and order throughout the voting process at all polling stations.
“With regard to policing elections, it is our duty to create a safe and secure environment for all participating electoral stakeholders irrespective of their political affiliation or organisations,” said Inspector General of Police, Lemmy Kajoba.
But the police can only be able to maintain law and order with the support of the various political parties and their followers.
They must do so by adhering to the electoral laws and respecting the rights of their rivals to be heard as well.
In fact, Mr Kajoba has alluded to this by commending the political parties taking part in the by-election for exhibiting high levels of maturity, tolerance and respect for the law.
Mr. Kajoba reminded the public that it is the duty and responsibility of every individual to see to it that peace prevails at all times in every election.
The country has a proud history of staging free and fair elections since its independence and that legacy must be upheld in the Kabwata by-election.
Zambians have been able to vote peacefully not only during the one-party state but even under multi-partyism and that experience should not make them resort to any illegal activities as they vote.
That spirit of oneness shown last August 12 must be maintained, that peace is paramount.