–The Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) has called on President Edgar Lungu and his administration to work towards national reconciliation and building.
ZEC Presidentn, Telesphore Mpundu, said President Lungu should rise to the occasion and transcend partisan politics and work with all Zambians especially those who did not vote for him during the just-ended Presidential election.
Archbishop Mpundu also urged all Zambians to embrace the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation in order to promote peace and tranquility in the country.
Archbishop Mpundu stated that despite the Presidential election being successful there were flaws in the electoral process and if left unchecked it poses a serious threat to the struggle to embrace constitutionalism at all levels of political organization and activity
He said in a statement availed to ZANIS that political parties should put their houses in order before aspiring to assume the administration of the country unlike the wrangles that rocked major contending parties over the selection of their Presidential candidates.
Archbishop Mpundu noted that those aspiring for public office should be sincere and make achievable promises because the electorates have lost confidence in the politicians because of their unfulfilled campaign promises.
He has also denounced the misuse of public and social media to funnel tribal tension in the country by exaggerating the isolated incidents of tribalism at the expense of national building.
Archbishop Mpundu further said traditional leaders should also refrain from using their authority to unduly influence the electoral choices of the subjects by openly endorsing their preferred candidates which was a contravention of the Electoral Code of Conduct which forbids traditional rulers to engage in partisan politics.
‘We also disparage the behaviour of those of our priests who openly or privately campaigned for their own preferred candidates or parties because those priests tarnish the image of our Church,” he said.
He noted that the 2015 Presidential election has provided the country with lessons of how to prepare for the 2016 tripartite elections.
Archbishop Mpundu said it is for this reason that there is need to expedite the legal reforms such as the constitution to help deal with issues such as the convenient date of election.
He said government should provide funds to Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to undertake a continuous voter registration and creation of more polling stations to reduce on the distances covered by the electorates.
Archbishop Mpundu said government should also financially empower the ECZ to enable the commission put in place a system that allows voters to cast their votes from any polling stations.