Africa

Zambia's electoral commission lifts ban on opposition campaigns in capital

Campaigning was banned after death of two ruling party supporters

James Kunda   | 11.08.2021
Zambia's electoral commission lifts ban on opposition campaigns in capital

LUSAKA, Zambia

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announced Tuesday that it had lifted a ban on campaigns for the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) in two parts of the country. 

These were Kanyama Township in the capital Lusaka, where two supporters of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) were reportedly slain by UPND members two weeks ago, and Ikeleng’i near Zambia’s border with Angola, where UPND supporters also reportedly attacked a journalist during a scuffle between camps of the two rival parties.

ECZ spokeswoman Patricia Luhanga said in a media statement that the ban was lifted after a review of the situation and the affected political party was expected to adhere to the electoral code of conduct when campaigning.

The Information and Broadcasting Services Ministry also compensated the journalist, Victor Mwila of the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS), for the loss of a digital camera, mobile phone and cash in the incident.

The lifting of the ban came barely 48 hours before the southern African country holds a general election, the seventh since returning to multiparty politics three decades ago.

PF’s Edgar Lungu and UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema are the two front-runners from a pack of 16 contestants.

Launching a bloc observer mission in Lusaka for the polls earlier Tuesday, International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) executive secretary Joao Samuel Caholo said he anticipated a free and fair outcome to the elections.

Caholo said this was because Zambia was a bastion of peace in the African continent and globe as a whole.

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