Presidential candidates respond to President Lungu’s claim of election not free and fair

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Presidential Candidates in the 2021 Zambia presidential and parliamentary elections have responded to the President of  Zambia, Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu in a letter.

President Lungu said the elections were “not free and fair” after incidents of violence in three provinces.

Harry Kalaba, Dr. Nevers Mumba, Dr. Fred Mmembe, Chishala Kateka, Sean Tembo, and Bishop Trevor Mwamba say they received the press release from President Lungu through his Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations with utmost shock and reservation.

The candidates added that the elections were far from being free and fair because the police force under Lungu’s leadership as Republican President made it practically impossible for the elections to attain the required standard to meet the test of Free and Fair.

It is alleged President Lungu abusively used the Public Order Act to restrict the movement of his political opponents while members of his party were free to mobilize at will while the Police Service was equally used against his political opponents in the name of upholding the Covid-19 Public Health directives with great bias.

The political opponents claim that they all had their movements across the country restricted during the campaign period.

President Lungu is accused of trying to delay the process by seeking to take the legal process in a bid to delay the announcement of election results.

President Lungu was asked to demonstrate magnanimity and accept the outcome of the election without any further delay.

Earlier on Saturday the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), said it had not noted any irregularities in Zambia’s presidential election.

The regional bloc sent an observer mission for the Thursday polls. The mission says it’s pleased with the professionalism and transparency showed by the country’s electoral commission.

The mission commended the efforts made by the Electoral Commission of Zambia to plan and organize the 2021 elections amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It says it appreciated the transparency identification process however it lengthened the voting process. And despite the generally peaceful environment during the voting, the mission noted that there were isolated cases of violence.

COMESA officials also called for the allowance of equal opportunity in public media for all candidates/ parties to engage with the public for future elections. Additional reporting Angela Bolwana

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