As the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) conducted fresh nominations for the Kabwata Parliamentary By-Election which was scheduled to take place on 20 January 2022, but was cancelled and postponed to 3 February 2022 in accordance with Article 52(6) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia following the resignation and withdrawal of a candidate, CCMG calls on all contesting political parties and candidates to adhere to the Electoral Process Act and Electoral Code of Conduct during campaigns and on election day.
“We would like to call on all political parties, candidates and their supporters to adhere to the Electoral Code of Conduct and conduct violence free campaigns, restraining all supporters from acts of provocation of their political opponents. The cancellation of the Kabwata Parliamentary By-Election necessitated by the invocation evocation of Article 52(6) of the Constitution by the UPP candidate adds unnecessary costs to the running of elections by the Commission as well as to the participation of political parties and candidates. This occurrence confirms the urgent need for constitutional and legal reforms ahead of future by-elections and the 2026 General Election” said CCMG Steering Committee Chairperson Fr. Emmanuel Chikoya.
CCMG would like to encourage the Electoral Commission of Zambia to enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct without fear. One of their key mandates is to ensure a peaceful and credible election and this can be achieved by invoking provisions of the law against any candidate or political party whose actions threaten peaceful and credible elections. Equally, the Zambia Police have a duty to provide security, maintain law and order and enforce the law. Our expectations of the Zambia Police therefore are that they perform their duties diligently without fear or favor and that they investigate all acts of violation of the electoral code of conduct without discrimination.
“We would like to condemn acts of violence which led to injury and damage of property in Chilenje on 29 December 2021 and we call upon relevant authorities particularly the Zambia Police to ensure that the perpetrators of violence are dealt with according to the law. Such acts do not only create an unsafe environment for voters but undermine the principles of participation, association and expression” said CCMG Steering Committee Spokesperson Fr. Alex Muyebe.
CCMG would like to encourage the media to continue providing equal access and coverage to all political parties and contesting candidates. Media is not only a key stakeholder in the electoral process but a key carrier of political messages especially at this time when due to the COVID-19 pandemic, physical gatherings are discouraged and minimized. CCMG urges the media to unreservedly and impartially play its key role of providing space for all the political parties and candidates to interact with electorates in order to allow entrenchment of democratic governance through the electoral process in our country.