INSPECTOR General of Police Kakoma Kanganja says the command is aware of some political parties who are mobilising cadres from different parts of the country for transportation to Lukashya and Mwansabombwe constituencies ahead of the by-elections.
And Kanganja says political campaigns in Mwansabombwe and Lukashya constituencies are going on smoothly and peacefully.
In a statement, Tuesday, Kanganja stated that officers in the two constituencies had been alerted to deal firmly with anyone who would be found causing confusion.
“It has come to our attention that some political parties are mobilizing people from various parts of the country whom they intend to transport to Lukashya and Mwansabombwe Constituencies in Northern and Luapula Provinces respectively to cause confusion during the by election. I therefore wish to advise those planning to take this route to reconsider their position or face the consequences. I have already directed my officers deployed to the two constituencies to firmly deal with anyone who would abrogate the provisions of the law as political activities heighten. Our role as Zambia Police is to ensure that Law and order prevails during the whole electoral process and officers on the ground will do just that,” Kanganja stated.
And in a statement, Monday, Kanganja expressed satisfaction that next week’s polls would be held in a peaceful atmosphere.
“I have concluded the tour of Luapula and Northern provinces, in particular, Mwansabombwe and Lukashya constituencies where I came to check for myself the security situation, the deployment pattern and the welfare of officers as regards the forth-coming by-elections. I wish to state that I am satisfied with what is prevailing on the ground and the strategies employed to ensure that we attain peaceful by-elections. After touring the two constituencies, I am glad to note that political campaigns and activities are generally going on smoothly and peacefully and I hope that we will continue on the same path,” he stated.
Kanganja stated that enough manpower had been deployed, covering all polling stations and streams to ensure compliance to the provisions of the law by all electoral stakeholders.
“We have segmented all constituencies into zones and each zone has been beefed up by a standby force. This is in our effort to ensure that we narrow down the policing area so as to swiftly respond to any unforeseen eventuality as and when the need arises. I am, therefore, urging all electoral stakeholders to strongly condemn all acts of violence by exercising maximum restraint and constantly engaging each other in dialogue whenever there are differences. Avoid the use of provocative language and hate speech intended to provoke fellow campaigners, but instead, base campaigns on issues for you to lure the electorate,” he stated.
Kanganja also urged police officers to remain professional as they executed their duties before, during and after the two by-elections.
“Police officers have been advised to continue being diligent and professional as they execute their duties before, during and after these polls. No police officer is expected to engage in active politics or side with any political party because once discovered, the consequences are severe. As Zambia Police, we remain ready and committed to ensuring that the whole electoral process is successful and peaceful, as this is critical to democratic tenets. In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, I wish to urge all those involved in campaign activities to ensure that they adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines so as to reduce the spread of the virus,” stated Kanganja.