THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says activities outside the campaign period are matters which can only be handled by law enforcement agencies as they fall outside the ambit of the Commission.
Responding to a press query, ECZ Corporate Affairs Manager Patricia Luhanga said the commission did not expect political parties to engage in premature campaigns.
“The Electoral Code of Conduct provides for mechanisms for making complaints for breaches of the Code to Conflict Management Committees. Important to note is that the Commission enforces the Code within the confines of the prescribed campaign period. Activities outside the campaign period are matters for law enforcement agencies as these fall outside the ambit of the Commission. The Commission does not expect political parties to engage in premature campaigns and will soon engage the Political Party Liaison Committee over the matter and ensure that political parties desist from embarking upon campaigns before the Commission announces the campaign period,” stated Luhanga.
“The Commission being the Electoral Management Body is vested with the power to conduct elections. The Commission does prescribe the election timetable before the polling day and key in the time table is the campaign period which is 90 days for the General Election. Besides the provisions of the Electoral Process Act (EPA) the campaigns are subject to the Electoral Code of Conduct. In terms of Section 4(5) of the Electoral Process Act, the Anti-Corruption Commission is mandated to “investigate and prosecute any corrupt practice” committed. Further, the Zambia Police Service is equally mandated under Section 5(6) of the EPA to undertake any criminal proceedings pursuant to the EPA. The cited law enforcement agencies are therefore better placed to handle allegations or complaints outside campaigns as is the case now.”