ECZ calls on Traditional Leaders to preach peace
Chipata, June 26, ZANIS………The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has urged Traditional Leader to preach peace among their subjects as to avert violence as Chipata central constituency goes to the poll on 25th July 2013.
ECZ Chairperson Justice Ireen Mambilima says Traditional Leaders have a role to play in the political dispersion of the country by positively engaging their subjects on the need to avoid electoral malpractices during elections.
She was speaking when she met Chief Chinyaku and Village Headmen from both his chiefdom and paramount chief Mpezeni’s area at the Chipata council chamber yesterday.
Justice Mambilima noted that chiefs who were the custodians of the people should take an active role in educating their subjects on the need to avoid violence so that no lives are lost during campaigns.
She stated that the Commission also engages other stakeholders such as Non Governmental Organisation NGO’s, Media and the Church in the quest to avoid political clashes during elections.
She emphasized on the need for chiefs to be neutral and embrace all political players adding that preferential practices should not be entertained.
Justice Mambilima further said the commission realized that chiefs were instrumental in creating a conducive environment if electorates to participate fully in an election both during and to the run up to the polls
She also advised the Chiefs to strictly follow the electoral code of conduct to avoid been in conflicts with the electoral law by refusing some political parties to hold political meetings in their chiefdom.
She said it was a convictable offence by the courts of law to breach the electoral laws and also one can get fine once found quite.
Justice Mambilima said there was also need for Traditional Leaders to report all forms of electoral offences so that remedial measures are found.
And Headman Kwacha of chief Chinyaku’s area raised concern of cadres been ferried from town to rural areas who were mostly unruly and brought confusion in rural areas during election campaign.
He noted that there were some instances of vote buying and invitation of chiefs to political rallies by political parties.
Meanwhile, the meeting resolved that once political parties acquire police permits, chiefs and Headmen in the area should be notified and that political parties should not ferry supporters from other areas if that happened should be disciplined.
The meeting resolved that Traditional Leaders should educate subjects that vote buying should be avoided at all costs and that anybody found wanting should be advised to stop or face the wrath of the law.
It was also discussed that ECZ makes follow up to the police on issues of some cases of electoral malpractices reported to them and yet no action has been taken.
The Chipata central parliamentary seat fall vacant following the nullification of Mutolo Phiri as Member of Parliament.