In a statement, Monday, SACCORD hailed both the PF and UPND for conducting peaceful campaigns.
“The Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) would like to congratulate the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) for winning the Nangula ward by-election in the Western Province of the Republic of Zambia. SACCORD would also like to congratulate the ruling PF and opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) for participating in the by-election as it is such participation that makes Zambia a competitive multi-party democratic dispensation. The participation of both the ruling PF and opposition UPND is a testimony of Zambia’s commitment to embracing democracy as the only method of ushering leaders into office,” Cheembe stated.
“The by-election conducted in a peaceful environment where no incident of political violence was recorded encourages SACCORD that it is possible for our two leading political parties to compete in an election and have one emerge as a victor without resorting to violence.”
Meanwhile, SACCORD commended ECZ for adhering to social distancing guidelines during the polls.
“SACCORD would also like to congratulate the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for conducting a professional by-election taking into consideration the restrictive measures imposed on the nation as a result of the COVID-19 disease. The social distancing practice observed by the ECZ and ultimately delivering a by-election result free of political violence is an indicator of the competence that our electoral body has. Whereas in other countries on the continent elections have had to be postponed due to the COVID-19, the ECZ conducted a by- election where no adverse results, such as harm to human rights defenders, were recorded on account of the COVID-19. Many lessons can be learned by the electoral body on the conduct of the Nangula by-election in the midst of a global pandemic and it would be good to get some of these best practices by the ECZ especially as this relates to the conduct of future by-elections,” stated Cheembe.