Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja has expressed happiness with the ongoing peaceful campaigns in Lukashya and Mwansabombwe constituencies and has further advised competitors to avoid the use of provocative language.
In a statement after a tour of the two constituencies, Mr Kanganja hopes the peaceful campaigns would continue until voting day.
“I have concluded the tour of Luapula and Northern provinces, in particular Mwansabombwe and Lukashya constituencies where I came to check for myself the security situation, the deployment pattern and the welfare of officers as regards the forth-coming bye-elections. I wish to state that I am satisfied with what is prevailing on the ground and the strategies employed to ensure that we attain peaceful by-elections,” Mr Kanganja said.
“After touring the two constituencies, I am glad to note that political campaigns and activities are generally going on smoothly and peacefully and I hope that we will continue on the same path. We have deployed enough manpower covering all polling stations and streams to ensure compliance to the provisions of the law by all electoral stakeholders.
We have segmented all constituencies into zones and each zone has been beefed up by a stand by force. This is in our effort to ensure that we narrow down the policing area so as to swiftly respond to any unforeseen eventuality as and when need arises.”
He has urged all electoral stakeholders to strongly condemn all acts of violence by exercising maximum restraint and constantly engaging each other in dialogue whenever there are differences.
“Avoid the use of provocative language and hate speech intended to provoke fellow campaigners but instead, base campaigns on issues for you to lure the electorate. Further, I urge all political players to desist from importing cadres because they are the ones who perpetuate violence as they do not belong to the affected areas. The officers deployed in areas where there are by- elections are not there to intimidate anyone but to effectively maintain law and order. Therefore, everyone is called upon to cooperate and work closely with the officers by availing to them information on criminal elements,” Mr Kanganja said.
“Police officers have been advised to continue being diligent and professional as they execute their duties before, during and after these polls. No police officer is expected to engage into active politics or side with any political party because once discovered, the consequences are severe. As Zambia police, we remain ready and committed to ensuring that the whole electoral process is successful and peaceful, as this is critical to democratic tenets. In the wake of the corona virus pandemic, I wish to urge all those involved in campaign activities to ensure that they adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines so as to reduce the spread of the virus.”