—–The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has called on traditional leadership in Mangango Constituency of Kaoma district in Western province to avoid engaging themselves in partisan politics.
Addressing over 37 traditional leaders at Kaoma Trades Training Institute drawn from various places in chief Mutondo’s area, Commissioner Justice Christopher Mushabati, said chiefs and village headmen should desist from using their influence to coerce people to vote for a candidate of their choice.
Justice Mushabati said traditional leaders should advise their subjects to exercise maximum restraint to acts of violence and behaviours which are likely to lead to anarchy in the forthcoming Mangango Constituency by-election slated for August 19, this year.
He said traditional leaders are important people as they are custodians of the cultural norms and tradition which should be preserved by many people in society.
Justice Mushabati complained that the commission has observed with sadness the escalating levels of intolerance among political players by blatantly disregarding the provisions of the electoral laws.
He said that in many instances traditional leaders have been accused of intimidating, threatening or persuading their subjects to politically act and support political parties or candidates of their choice against the electoral code of conduct.
Justice Mushabati warned that the law will deal with any traditional leader who would be found stopping voters from exercising their rights to vote, adding that registered voters in Mangango Constituency should turn up in numbers to vote for the candidate of their choice on August 19.
He said the commission has resolved to enhance interaction with all stakeholders and members of the public to ensure that understanding of the electoral process is achieved.
And speaking earlier, Chief Mutondo promised to will follow the wish of the people on any candidate they will choose in Mangango Constituency.
Chief Mutondo said he will not condone acts of violence during the Mangango Constituency by-election from his subjects and requested the Electoral Commission of Zambia to strengthen meetings aimed at sensitizing people on the role of traditional leaders and electoral process.