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Its social distancing campaigns!, ECZ guides political parties

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THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has developed guidelines which will encourage political parties and other stakeholders to use appropriate campaign strategies such as mobile public address system, distribution of flyers and other political party materials with minimal or no contact with a crowd during campaigns.
And the Commission has maintained that it will not reopen the voter registration exercise which came to an end on December 20, last year.
In a media statement addressing various concerns by stakeholders,  ECZ Corporate Affairs manager Patricia Luhanga said once campaigns are authorised, all stakeholders must adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines.
She said on polling day, the Commission will adhere to the required public health guidelines such as sanitising, wearing of face masks and physical distancing as the electorate cast their votes.
And on the restrictions on the number of international observers accredited to observe the 2021 general election, Ms Luhanga said  interested International observers should follow the application procedure which is channelled
through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for onward recommendation for accreditation to the Commission.
“On the other hand Public Health Regulations and in this regard COVID-19 guidelines are a preserve of the Ministry of Health. Therefore, the Commission will be guided by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health respectively on how to proceed with accreditation of international observers.
The Commission is aware of the risk associated with international travel in the spread of COVID-19 and the concerns raised by stakeholders are valid and the relevant institutions working with the Commission would need to ensure that measures are put in place should the need arise for accrediting international observers,” she said.
She however said international agencies that have presence in the country and are interested in observing the elections can utilise local staff in the event that travel restrictions are imposed.
Ms Luhanga further said the Commission will this time around not conduct an audit of the register given that there is a new register of voters which will address most of the concerns that stakeholders may have.
She said stakeholders wishing to conduct an independent audit of the register should take advantage of the verification of voter details once the Commission opens up the verification and physical inspection of the Voters Register to the public.
 Meanwhile, the Commission will not reopen the voter registration exercise which came to an end on 20th December 2020.
“The registration exercise ran for a period of 38 days inclusive of a four-day extension. In this period, the Commission registered a provisional total number of 7,020,749 voters, representing a record 83% of the projected number of eligible voters.
The Commission is committed to continuously engage all stakeholders including political parties, Civil Society and Faith-based Organisations among others as we approach the 2021 General Elections,” Ms Luhanga said.
She said the Commission will further endeavour to engage all stakeholder prior to main activities such as inspection of the Provisional Voters Register, Nominations and the General Elections among others.

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Nelson Phiri, gave orders to police officers to fire at the people that had gathered, HRC says

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FINDINGS into the shooting of State prosecutor Nsama Nsama and United Party for National Development (UPND) supporter Joseph Kaunda have revealed  former Lusaka Province Commissioner of Police, Nelson Phiri, gave orders to police officers to fire at the people that had gathered.
The Commission has since recommended that he must be jointly charged with the case of murder together with the subordinate police officer or police officers who took his orders to shoot  Mr Nsama and Mr Kaunda.
Speaking this morning in Lusaka, Human Rights Commission chairperson Muford Mwandenga said the police command were directly linked to the indiscriminate use of live ammunition which killed the duo.
He said the Commission’s investigations further revealed that police fired teargas canisters and live ammunition to disperse an unarmed crowd that had gathered at the Police Headquarters to offer solidarity Mr Hichilema.
And Mr Mwandenga said comments by some members of the Executive may have contributed to police violence on unarmed citizens
“A few days before the fatal shootings, the Minister of Home Affairs, Stephen Kampyongo, issued a statement warning that no person or groups of persons would be allowed at or near the premises of the Zambia Police Service Headquarters where the opposition leader would appear for interviews. He warned that those who would defy the order would be met with police force.
Lusaka Province Minister Hon. Bowman Lusambo specifically directed the Lusaka Commissioner of Police, Mr Phiri to deal with anyone who would offer solidarity to Mr. Hichilema,” he said.
Mr Mwandenga said the Commission strongly believes that such statements from some members of the executive could have contributed to arbitrary action by the police which resulted into the shoot to death of the duo.
He further said the estates of the deceased should be adequately compensated by the State.
“The Zambia Police Service should also desist from taking actions which are likely to result in the gross violation of human rights such as extra-judicial killing, arbitrary arrests and detentions and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of participants in assemblies whether lawful or not,” he said.
Mr Nsama and Kaunda were shot dead near police headquarters when police summoned UPND president Hakainde Hichilema.

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Public confidence in the Zambia Police Service is low, President Edgar Lungu says

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PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has expressed concern that the public confidence in the police service is low.

Speaking when he swore in Patrick Mutale as chairperson of the Police Public Complaints Commission and Brigadier General Dr Frida Kazembe (RTD) as chairperson of the Zambia Correctional Service Commission, President Lungu said it is up to the police, to regain confidence through their actions.

He urged Mr Mutale to prepare adequately to receive and resolve complaints from the public fairly but firmly as the country heads towards the 2021 general elections.

“There is urgent need for the police service to address these public concerns if the people of Zambia are to regain confidence in them. I, therefore, expect you to use the 34 years of experience you have gained as a lawyer in both the government, where you rose to the position of deputy chief state advocate and the private practice, to turn around the negative public perceptions of the police service,” he said.

And the Head of State has called on Dr Kazembe to immediately start addressing staff welfare issues such as timely appointments, promotions transfers and retirements in the correctional service.

He also urged her to work on the harmonization of conditions of service for correctional facility officers.

“I am aware that prior to your retirement in 2011, you served the public service for 41 years having joined the Zambia army in 1980 as an officer cadet and later rose to serve in various senior positions. Your loyalty to the command and commitment to duty earned you the appointment of the first female general in the Zambia army in 2009. This is an enviable and admirable achievement.

I am, therefore, confident that given your rich professional experience in the defense force, you will, without doubt, diligently apply yourself to ensure that the Zambia correctional service commission is efficiently and effectively operationalized,” President Lungu said.

(Picture by State House)

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President Edgar Lungu mourns, Hon. Maxas Ng’onga, Kaputa MP

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PRESIDENT Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, deeply regrets the demise of Kaputa Patriotic Front Member of Parliament and former Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Hon. Maxas Ng’onga.

“The death of Hon Maxas Ng’onga has come as a shock to me. I deeply regret his passing on. We have lost a dependable member of the Patriotic Front especially, this time when the general elections are imminent and we need the contribution of all our members, ” President Lungu said.

The President described Hon. Ng’onga as a diligent and team player of the ruling party whose selfless contribution to PF will be greatly missed.

“On behalf of the Zambian government, the people and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to convey my deepest sympathies to the bereaved family and the constituents of Kaputa Constituency in Northern Province. May the Almighty God comfort the bereaved family and the people of Kaputa as they mourn Hon. Ng’onga,” said the President.

The deceased MP has been a law maker under the Patriotic Front since 201 1.

And the President is deeply saddened by the death of renowned Zambian businessman Andrew Sardanis who passed away on 28 th February, 2021.

The President recalls Mr Sardanis’s significant contribution to the liberation struggle of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, and development of business entities in the private sector in the country.

“On behalf of the Zambian Government, the people and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the Sardanis family and Chaminuka Nature and Wildlife Reserve. May God Almighty grant the bereaved family fortitude and strength during this difficult time, ” the President said.

This is according to a statement issued by Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations, Mr. Issac Chipampe.

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Foxdale Forest – Phase 2 Selling

ZAMBIA: COVID-19 STATS

04 Mar 2021, 4:33 AM (GMT)

Zambia Stats

80,687 Total Cases
1,109 Deaths
76,498 Recovered

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