ECZ urges cops to be diligent in by-elections

Chinsali, Chitambo, Milenge, Kanchibiya

POLICE officers have been advised to execute their duties diligently in tomorrow’s ward by-elections in five places to achieve transparency and credible polls.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is holding by-elections in Nakatambo Ward in Chitambo district, Itapa Ward (Chinsali), Manshe Ward (Kanchibiya), Buntungwa Ward (Mufulira) and Mumbotuta Ward in Milenge.
ECZ vice-chairperson Ali Simwinga says the law enforcers should protect both the voters and stakeholders to achieve fairness during the elections.
He, however, hailed police officers for actively participating in the electoral process, with a call on them to strengthen their functions in the local government by–elections.
Mr Simwinga said this in Itapa Ward in Chinsali, Muchinga Province, yesterday during a meeting with uniformed men and women.
Chinsali district police commanding officer Zamusogolo Njovu said ECZ should provide more funding for logistics to enable officers deployed to efficiently execute their mandate.
He said for years, local government by-elections have not been receiving adequate funding on the part of personnel providing security.
Mr Simwinga assured police officers that their concerns will be considered.
And people who registered as voters in the continuous registration of voters exercise last year will be among those who will participate in tomorrow’s ward by-elections in the five areas.
ECZ commissioner Macdonald Chipenzi said new entrants have been certified in the voters’ register, a positive development that will afford them an opportunity to exercise their right to choose leaders.
Mr Chipenzi said in Nakatambo Ward in Chitambo district yesterday when he addressed political party agents that Zambia now has 13 million registered voters.
He also said ECZ does not expect political parties to accuse district electoral and returning officers of allowing unregistered people to vote.
Mr Chipenzi said the commission will deliver transparent and credible elections.
And ECZ says the conflict management committee established to oversee the Mumbotuta Ward by-election in Milenge has not received any complaints of violence during campaigns.
ECZ commissioner Major General Vincent Mukanda (rtd) told journalists in Milenge yesterday that the campaign process in the ward has been peaceful.
Maj Gen Mukanda thanked participating political parties for exhibiting maturity and hopes the trend will continue.
Earlier, Maj Gen Mukanda met various political party representatives and challenged them to use right channels to air their grievances.
He also met police officers, who were advised not to be intimated but to be firm to achieve law and order during the poll.
And as campaigns in the Mansha Ward by-election in Kanchibiya come to a close today, district electoral officer Joseph Zulu has implored stakeholders to report any irregularities to the conflict management committee, who are mandated to finding lasting solutions to disputes.
He said this during a political party liaison committee meeting yesterday.
Mr Zulu also said political parties are responsible for the upkeep of their agents…