— The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has appealed to political parties participating in the Mangango constituency parliamentary by-election to avoid effecting citizen arrests in the area.
ECZ Commissioner Justice Christopher Mushabati said this when he addressed election agents, monitors, observers, the media and conflict management committee members at Kaoma district council chambers today.
And UPND members have demanded to effect citizen’s arrest on people who would be found committing electoral offences in the forth-coming Mangango constituency by-election slated for August 19, 2014.
UPND member Lipoba Maliyande claimed that his party has witnessed with impunity how District Commissioners in Western province abuse government vehicles during by-elections in the province in the full view of the police in a bid to disadvantage the opposition political parties.
Mr Maliyande complained that several complaints have been launched to the security officers especially in the just ended Namando local government by-elections in Luampa district but that there was no action taken by the police.
But Commissioner Justice Mushabati advised that any election offences should be reported to the police, conflict management and political liaison committees as they are bodies put in place to resolve such issues during by-elections.
He reminded political party leaders in the area to know that conducting an election was an expensive venture and as such cadres should conduct themselves in a proper and fair manner without bias.
Commissioner Mushabati said cadres should not take the law into their own hands as the Electoral Commission of Zambia officials will endeavour to ensure that the Mangango by-election is conducted in a free and fair atmosphere.
He said the commission will work tirelessly to see to it that police officers conducted themselves in a professional manner to ensure that election offences are tackled to the satisfaction of all the political players in Mangango constituency.
Commissioner Mushabati said people should avoid cases that would be detrimental to their political stance in the constituency adding that respective political party leadership should not import cadres from different places in order to cause confusion in Mangango.
He warned that any political party that will be fanning violence in the Mangango parliamentary by-election will leave the Electoral Commissioner of Zambia with no option but to postpone the elections.
Commissioner Mushabati has requested political parties to observe time during the filling in of nominations papers at Mangango primary school tomorrow on July 10.