PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has directed the Zambia Army Commander to re-enforce security in North-Western and some parts of Western and Southern Provinces which have recorded two deaths and spates of violence during Thursday’s election.
And President Lungu has described as shocking the murder of PF North-Western Province chairman Jackson Kungo, and provincial Deputy Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Chihili’s brother by suspected UPND members.
According to a statement issued by Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe, Thursday, President Lungu said the amount of mayhem in North Western, some parts of Western and Southern provinces had effectively rendered the elections in the three provinces not free and fair.
He urged PF members to remain calm and not resort to retaliation.
“His Excellency, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia has described as shocking the murder of Patriotic Front North Western Province chairman Jackson Kungo, and a brother of provincial Deputy Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Chihili. President Lungu is further dismayed by the amount of mayhem in North Western, some parts of Western and Southern provinces which he says has effectively rendered the elections in the three provinces not free and fair. ‘How can you talk about free and fair elections when our opponents have taken this election as war? When people say elections are not free and fair, they accuse the ruling party but look at North Western Province, some parts of Western and Southern Provinces, who is causing mayhem? The opposition’,” the statement read.
President Lungu further directed the Zambia Army Commander to quickly re-enforce security in the three provinces.
“This is exactly what I said last night concerning political violence. It is of course clear that these two Zambians have been killed in cold blood by UPND members. I therefore direct the Zambia Army Commander to quickly re-enforce security in North Western, some parts of Western and Southern Provinces where this unprecedented violence is taking place. Yesterday during my address to the nation, I said ‘as long as I remain President I will not countenance violence’, and in less than 24 hours, we experience such brutal acts orchestrated by our opponents who want to rule Zambia by force. I will ensure citizens are protected, and I will not take kindly to these evil schemes. The Job to arrest the killers lies with the security officers. So stay calm and do not retaliate. It hurts so bad but some killers have been arrested already, and the rest will be found,” said President Lungu.
And in an interview, PF media director Antonio Mwanza said Kungo was at Kyawama Secondary School polling station and was providing the voters’ register to polling agents but as he was doing so, someone accused him of wanting to sneak in pre-marked ballot papers into the polling station.
“I can confirm that Comrade Jackson Kungo was murdered. We believe this was premeditated. Jackson Kungo was at this polling station at Kyawama specifically to give our polling agents the voter registers. All political parties are requested by the Electoral Commission of Zambia to provide the voters register for their polling agents. So we go to the ECZ and we buy from ECZ those voter registers which we give to our polling agents in all the polling stations. So when he went to Kyawama to distribute the registers, he was targeted because this is a man that has worked very hard to turn the North-western province from a UPND stronghold to a PF stronghold so we knew he was going to be targeted,” said Mwanza.
“Deliberately, somebody started shouting that he had pre-marked ballot papers. There is no one who has pre-marked ballot papers and there is nothing you can do with pre-marked ballot papers. In the first place, where can you even get them? Let us assume, miraculously, you have those ballot papers, how will you manage to take them to the polling station in broad daylight in front of people? Are you going to carry prohibited materials in front of thousands of people in broad daylight? Does that even make sense?”