Zambia’s electoral commission halts campaigning in the capital for 10 days following the death of opposition supporter

Political campaigning in Zambia’s capital Lusaka has been suspended for 10 days because of violent clashes ahead of next month’s national elections, the electoral commission said.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announced on Sunday that it was suspending campaigns in Lusaka and Namwala, south of the capital, until July 18 when the situation would be reviewed.

“The electoral commission of Zambia has observed with dismay the rise in political violence in some districts which has regrettably resulted in injury, loss of life and property,” commission spokesman Cris Akufuna said in a statement.

No public rallies, meetings, processions or door-to-door campaigning will be allowed, Akufuna said.

The run-up to the election has been marred by skirmishes between supporters of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) of President Edgar Lungu and the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) led by Hakainde Hichilema.

On Friday, police opened fire on UPND supporters, killing one, after the party refused to cancel a campaign meeting in Lusaka’s Chawama area.

The ECZ said all vehicles carrying political party campaign messages in the two areas should be parked.

“Campaigns shall be restricted to electronic and print media publicity and hate speech will not be entertained,” it said.

The ECZ had received reports of political violence in three other towns in southern Zambia and warned that it would halt campaigning there if violence persisted.

“The commission appeals to all political party leaders to counsel and control their cadres in the interest of making peace in our country,” the ECZ said in a statement.

The ECZ on June 19 threatened to bar campaigning due to growing cases of violence, after clashes between supporters of the ruling PF party and its main opposition, UPND.

The ban on campaigning comes less than three weeks after Zambia’s biggest independent newspaper, The Post, was shut down by the authorities over a tax dispute — a move seen as an attempt to silence it before the August 11 vote.

President Edgar Lungu has been in power for just over a year after winning a ballot triggered by the death of his predecessor, Michael Sata. Lungu faces a strong challenge from UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema. – Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera
Official Al Jazeera Mubahser News account آخر وأهم الأخبار تتابعونها عبر هذا الحساب.. كما يمكنكم متابعة حساب الجزيرة مباشر @ajmubasher Al Jazeera has over 663268 followers on Twitter.
Advertisting

Golding opportunity for kleptocrats

Government must take steps to clean up the country’s dirty real estate market, which has long offered a safe haven for criminals

SAA’s rescue men fly in defiance

The airline’s business rescue practitioners ignored a warning not to announce route closures and possible job cuts ahead of a restructuring plan
Advertising

Press Releases

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders

So you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Do the research first; it will save money and time later

Social entrepreneurship means business

Enterprises with a cause at their core might be exactly what our economy desperately needs

Looking inwards

Businesses are finding tangible ways to give back – but only because consumers demand it