Political parties regret Saturday’s violence

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The two main contending political parties taking part in the Livingstone parliamentary by-elections have regretted the violence that occurred on Saturday and noted that it spoiled the record of peaceful campaigns during the last three weeks.

And the Livingstone District Conflict Management Committee has observed that campaigns had been peaceful since nominations were lodged in about a month ago.

Campaign manager for the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) Obvious Mwaliteta said the police’s decision to ban the holding of campaign rallies in Livingstone should be respected by all political parties.

Mr. Mwaliteta told ZANIS in Livingstone today that the PF had no option but to abide by the police orders which he said were meant for the good of everyone in Livingstone.

He said the police have a duty to keep law and order hence the need for all political parties to respect the decision.

Mr. Mwaliteta has however remained optimistic that despite the banning of political rallies in the constituency, the PF has campaigned effectively to warrant its candidate, Lawrence Evans’ victory on February 28, 2013.

He said the people of Livingstone have resolved to vote for the ruling party now because they were craving for development.

And opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) campaign manager in the Livingstone parliamentary by-election Garry Nkombo has paid glowing tribute to the people in the constituency for maintaining peace since campaigns started.

Mr. Nkombo said all political parties and other stakeholders ensured that political violence was circumvented until Saturday when some conflict was recorded.

He said the violence was unfortunate as it spoiled the coexistence of political parties amidst competitions.

He however said that his party had confidence of winning the Thursday parliamentary by-election because people in the area trust the UPND.

Meanwhile, the Livingstone District Conflict Management Committee chairperson, Hikazinga Habanyama said Livingstone campaigns have generally been peace except for the Saturday violence.

Mr. Habanyama has however confirmed receiving reports of violence yesterday and said his committee was investing the matter.

Both campaign managers and Mr. Habanyama have since appealed for peace so that voting can take place in a conducive environment on Thursday this week.

The Livingstone parliamentary seat fell vacant after the then UPND Member of Parliament, Howard Sikwela resigned from his party citing hostility as the reason for his stepping down.

The seat is being contested by Lawrence Evans of PF, Regina Musokotwane of UPND, Fred Siasuntwe of Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and Green Mwanangombe of  United National Independence Party (UNIP).