Zambia braces for poll troublemakers
From ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – ZAMBIAN Police Services, whose officials have been assaulted in recent days, has tightened security ahead of the general election set for Thursday.
The Southern African country goes to the polls on the back of inter-partyviolence, particularly in the capital Lusaka where the electoralcommission temporarily banned campaigns due to rising violence between rival supporters.
Incumbent President Edgar Lungu of the ruling Patriotic Front party facesa stiff challenge from main opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, from the United Party for National Development in the presidential vote.
Lungu has been leader since January 2015 after defeating Hichilema in a polls prompted by the death of then-leader, Michael Sata, in October 2014.Speaking during an electoral stakeholders meeting in Lusaka, Province Police Commissioner Nelson Phiri, said over 30 cases of electoral violence as destruction of campaign material, shootings, damage to property
andphysical attacks on citizens and police had been recorded.
“Some measures put in place ahead of the elections include increased police presence, public awareness campaigns against electoral violenceand enhanced collaboration with electoral stakeholders,” said Phiri.
Zambia, a mining leader, is relatively peaceful but the 2011 general elections Sata won ahead of incumbent Rupiah Banda and Hichilema saw burning of vehicles, riots and harassment of electoral officers.
An estimated 6,6 million voters are expected to cast their ballots in the nation of 14,5 million people.
– CAJ News
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