Southern Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes executive director Boniface Chembe says the upcoming local government by-elections will be used as indicators of whether or not political parties are gaining popularity.

In an interview with News Diggers! Chembe said he expected political parties to campaign in a more peaceful manner and desist from engaging in violent activities.

“Our expectations as SACCORD is that all political parties will be able to campaign in canvas to win votes from the electorates in a peaceful manner through the selling of manifestos and messages so that people are able to make informed decisions in terms of which political parties they prefer at a local government level as well as to address various needs and interest,” said Chembe.

“We do also take note that some of these by-elections will be indicators on some of the popularity but also loss of popularity of various political parties on the case. And that being the case, we expect that our political leaders will go into the by-election in a competitive manner that will not embrace any acts of violence.”

According to the Electoral Commission of Zambia, the local government by-elections are scheduled to take on Tuesday 24th April 2018 in 16 districts namely Kalulushi, Mufulira, Nyimba, Sinda, Kawambwa, Mwense, Shibuyunji, Chinsali, Mafinga, Shiwangandu, Kasempa, Mufumbwe, Mwinilunga, Mushindamo, Monze, and Mongu.