We don’t need police permit to campaign during elections, UPND tells Kampyongo

UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma during press conference in Lusaka-picture by Tenson Mkhala

UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma says there is no law that requires political parties to get permission from police to conduct campaigns during elections.

Reacting to the directive made by Home Affairs Minister Steven Kampyongo to Western Province Police command that all political parties participating in the Sesheke by-election must be included on the police schedule for them to conduct campaigns, Kakoma said his party would not adhere to that directive.

“All elections, including by-elections, are managed by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), and they are managed in accordance with electoral laws. And during the time of elections, we don’t have to get permission from the police under the Public Order Act or whatever other Act that Kampyongo is relying on; we just follow the Electoral law. And ECZ usually calls all stakeholders, all political parties participating in the by-elections to brief them on how to conduct their campaigns and draw up a timetable, which is agreed to by other political parties to be followed. And that is the programme we are going to stick to, not Kampyongo’s programme,” Kakoma said.

He explained that only the ECZ had the mandate to come up with a campaign programme for all political parties during election campaigns

“Those things are agreed to at a meeting that will be called by ECZ, where all stakeholders, including the police, they will be in attendance, and when that programme is agreed to, all political parties will be given that programme, including the police, they will be given the programme, and that’s the programme that will be followed, not instructions from Kampyongo on how we should conduct campaigns!” Kakoma added.

And Kakoma said the PF were the law-breaking party during by-elections.

He said there was nothing for Kampyongo to boast about with the past Mangango by-election as the PF broke the law to disadvantage the opposition.

“But even during the Mangango by-election, there was nothing to boast about because when we had our campaigns, we were told to stop campaigning because Vice-President Inonge Wina was going there, after that, they said Lungu was going there, hence all opposition political parties must stop campaigning. They are the ones who are breaking the law and not the opposition; they broke the law in Mangango and disadvantaged us, there was nothing to boast about in Mangango,” Kakoma said.

He also alleged that the PF want to arrest the UPND candidate for Sesheke by-election after he refused to be bought.

Kakoma, however, advised that Kampyongo should tell the police not to arrest the UPND candidate as doing so would trigger conflict.

“We are geared for the Sesheke by-election, we already selected our candidate. The candidate we selected is a very popular candidate; he has been on the ground for a long time and hence the PF are scared that they are going to lose and they have been intimidating our candidate; they have also tried to buy him and when he refused, they are threatening him with arrest! It is Kampyongo to tell his police not to arrest our candidate because that’s what causes conflict. When you arrest the candidate, it will provoke his supporters and they will react! That’s what causes conflict and not what he is talking about,” cautioned Kakoma.

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