CCZ General Secretary Fr Emmanuel Chikoya has reminded political players taking part in the Chilanga parliamentary by-election to engage in a contest of ideas and not Pangas and muscles.

In a statement issued by CCZ Communications Officer Michael Mazakaza, Fr Chikoya also asked security wings to deal with violent political parties and apply the Public Order Act fairly.

“Winning an election is not about using hate speech or offensive language, but rather it is a contest of ideas, the fight for winning majority votes of the hearts and minds of the electorate, the selling of practicable policies and programmes for improving the lives of the electorate,” read the statement.

“Fair and peaceful elections is not hinged on just one political party alone working to ensure peace but on all political parties participating in an election. Individuals and parties seeking political mandate in a democracy like Zambia should know that elections must not be a matter of life and death, neither should they be a battle of muscle and pangas but a battle for ideologies.”

He reminded all participants in the by-election that the environment would be competitive but urged them to remain peaceful and non-violent.

“Political players must have zero tolerance for violence within and outside their ranks. They must not just talk about peace but live in peace with themselves, their members and other political stakeholders. All participating political parties must be consistent in their condemnation of violence by upholding zero tolerance against violence both in public and private,” read the statement in party.

Fr Chikoya also called on the security agencies to be firm but fair and that they should not be seen to be siding with any political party, saying that would be recipe for chaos.

“Security agencies should enforce the law, particularly the Public Order Act fairly and not be biased towards those in government or power,” said Fr Chikoya