- June 28, 2021
- Posted by: Admin
- Category: 2021 General Election, 2021 General Election Nominations
Media Personnel and everyone following us through our social media platforms, Good afternoon and welcome to this virtual briefing.
As you may be aware, the Commission suspended all manner of political campaigns for the Patriotic Front and United Party for National Development in Lusaka, Mpulungu, Namwala and Nakonde Districts due to escalating violence. The suspension was for a period of 14 days.
The Commission further indicated that it would be following the activities of both the PF and UPND with keen interest in this period in the affected districts and beyond.
Today, we are here to give you an update on the conduct of the two political parties as well as the Commission decision on the matter.
The Commission has reviewed the situation and we would like to announce that we have fully lifted the suspension of campaigns for the PF and UPND in Mpulungu, Nakonde and Namwala following the satisfactory conduct of the two political parties in these jurisdictions.
The Commission however is not fully satisfied with the conduct of the Patriotic Front and United Party for National Development in Lusaka. The Commission has received a number of incidences in Lusaka that are under investigation.
In this regard, the Commission has only partially lifted the suspension in Lusaka District. This means that ALL physical campaigns remain suspended. However in addition to the spot adverts and documentaries that were allowed on various media platforms, the Commission will allow the two political parties to air programmes on radio and television as well as publish articles in the newspapers. The partial suspension is effective immediately and will be reviewed after 14 days.
Let me also mention that we have received reports from Luangwa, Chililabombwe, Kitwe and Nsumbu districts involving the two political parties. These are under investigation and that the Commission will take appropriate action after the conclusion of the investigations.
The Commission would like to caution as earlier indicated, that we will not hesitate to impose sanctions on erring political parties and this may include disqualifying political parties/candidates who will be found breaching the Electoral Code of Conduct.
At this point, allow me to mention that other measures such as the suspension of rallies and road shows still apply for all political parties. The COVID-19 situation in the country is a well-known fact and we will not belabour the point.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Commission has also noted with concern an increase in hate speech by political parties in their campaign messages. This is against the Electoral Code of Conduct and the media is being called upon not to entertain such utterances. As guided by the Electoral Code of Conduct, media houses should ensure that all adverts and political party programmes are recorded and stored for reference.
Political parties and independent candidates are further reminded that it is unlawful to remove campaign materials such as posters and banners belonging to an opposing party or candidate and the Commission will equally apply sanctions on erring parties.
In conclusion, let me reiterate the Commission’s position of encouraging all political players to be tolerant and promote coexistence.
The Commission would also like to remind the various political parties that the country is still mourning the First Republican President Dr Kenneth D. Kaunda. Their conduct should reflect his legacy especially that of a united and peaceful Zambia. As we head to the 2021 general election, let’s remind ourselves of the the peace and democracy we cherish today because of the sacrifices that Dr Kaunda made
I thank you
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