INSPECTOR General of Police Kakoma Kanganja says high levels of intolerance among political parties, coupled with violence, has made policing of elections in Zambia difficult.

In a speech read on his behalf by Police Commissioner in charge of operations Alex Chilufya at the official opening of the Zambia Police Service review and validation workshop on the electoral training content held at Chita Lodge in Kafue, Monday, Kanganja said the disturbing trend of the misuse of social media to push political agendas had the capacity to ruin the peace which the country had enjoyed for a long time.

“The high levels of political violence intolerance among political parties coupled with violence has made the policing of election in the country difficult. The command has also observed the disturbing trend in the use or misuse of social media to push political agenda
has the capacity to ruin the peace the country has enjoyed for the past 56 years,” Kanganja said.

He advised police to come up with the policing strategies to address challenges associated to the use internet which had led to fake news.

“It is very important that as police, we come up with the strategy that will address these challenges and as such, my command is hence contented with this partnership between the Zambia Police and UNDP which has been signed under which we shall receive support from them to prepare for the policing of the 2021 general election,” said Kanganja.

Meanwhile, Kanganja said the workshop attended by commissioners across the 10 provinces and other junior police officers from various ranks would help in coming up with the proper training manuals for the policing of elections.

And speaking at the same event, UNDP country representative Seri Roland elections were an important way in which citizens could participate in governance.

“As UNDP, we are happy that today we are able to be part of the first to sign the letter of agreement that covers a range of activities to support the an inclusive and peaceful electoral process. We believe elections are among the most important way citizens can participate in the decision that affects their lives and hold their representatives accountable and for many years, elections have been an integral aspect of the UN supported democratic transition, decolonization process and peace agreement implementation,” said Roland.

He added that the will of the people in an electoral system was the basis of government authority as well as the right to freely choose their representatives through genuine and regular elections.