UPND Chairman for elections Gary Nkombo has asked the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to conduct and referee free and fair elections in the forthcoming Mongu District Mayoral by-election and in two local government ward by-elections in Lukutu and Katimba wards.

And Nkombo has announced that UPND has adopted Nyambe Muyumbana as its candidate for the Mongu Mayoral by-elections.

At a press briefing, Sunday, Nkombo also called on the police service to be alert.

“On the roles of every player in this process, in the past, elections in this country have been marred with an ugly vice called violence. And speaking on behalf of the UPND, which is now the ruling party, I would like to ask all our members who are going to participate in these elections to carry out a crusade, a campaign to endear the voters and desist from any electoral malpractice which includes violence which we abhor very much. To the Electoral Commission of Zambia, we also expect you to play your role in conducting and refereeing a free and fair elections,” Nkombo said.

“To the police, we would like you to play your role, that being of enforcement and continuously policing these activities called elections because it is a competition of ideas, a competition of what one promises to provide and not a competition of fists. So, we want the police to be alert in order for us to have a peaceful election.”

He said other political parties must feel free to conduct their campaigns and pledge a violent free election.

“To the other political parties, we would like to make an earnest appeal that please feel free to conduct your campaigns and we would like them to pledge in the same manner that we have, we would like them to play their part to also conduct incident free, fair election and we are quite confident that come the 14th of April, the deserving candidates will take the day. And so, we wish Zambia peace as we go through this competition because we are not enemies, we are just competitors. Journalists, the media, the fourth estate, we also expect you to play your role by covering the good, the bad and the ugly if it shows its face. We expect you to do fair coverage of the good, bad and also the ugly,” he said.

Nkombo announced that Peter Chanda had been adopted to stand on the party’s ticket in Lukutu ward, while Brian Chingula had been adopted to stand in Katimba ward.

“I am glad to announce the adopted candidate for Lukutu ward, a man who answers to the name Peter Chanda, he was our candidate in the 2021 general elections and he petitioned the loss of his elections, unfortunately the election was nullified. So, he remains our candidate for Lukutu ward. In the case of Katimba ward in Monze, this was occasioned by the death of a councilor and the UPND has adopted Mr Brian Chingula,” said Nkombo.

“In the case of the Mongu Mayoral elections, I want to confirm here, we had a total of 12 candidates out of which one needed to emerge. And I want to state the party’s gratitude to all the candidates who showed interest to be the flag bearers in this election. But as we know in this process, only one can emerge. And this one who has emerged is by no means any better than all of them, to us they are all our people, our members. But indeed this one who emerged possesses the attributes of an early morning winner and so, the party settled for a man who answers to the name Nyambe Muyumbana. I would like to congratulate the three colleagues who have been adopted and to insist that they must work very hard, and they must endear themselves to the electorate so that they can deliver a victory once again in this upcoming election.”