Africa

Zambia's opposition party faces poll campaign ban after killing of 2 political workers

Army deployed to keep order as Southern African country set to go to polls next week

James Kunda   | 03.08.2021
Zambia's opposition party faces poll campaign ban after killing of 2 political workers File Photo

LUSAKA, Zambia

The Electoral Commission of Zambia indefinitely suspended on Tuesday election campaign by the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) in Kanyama township of the capital Lusaka following the killing of two ruling Patriotic Front supporters last Friday in the area allegedly by an activist of the opposition party.

While the suspect was taken into custody, President Edgar Lungu on Sunday deployed the army to keep order in the area and other parts of the Southern African country which is set to go to polls on Aug. 12.

Commission spokeswoman Patricia Luhanga told reporters that police will ensure adherence to the order suspending indefinitely, subject to review, all manner of political campaigns for the UPND in the Kanyama constituency.

Reacting to the ban, a UPND spokesman said the police were yet to conclude investigations into the matter.
Mweelwa Muleya, a spokesman for the Human Rights Commission of Zambia, described the killings as a "horrendous act". In a statement, Muleya called for the perpetrators to be punished under the law.

Meanwhile, Luhanga said the commission wrote a letter to Dubai's Al Ghurair printing firm contracted to print ballot papers for the election, seeking clarification about a consignment of phones carried in the chartered Emirates Airline cargo plane that landed in Lusaka on Friday.

Luhanga said the phones did not belong to the commission and were not in any way linked to electoral activities.

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