THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has discouraged the holding of rallies during campaigns ahead of the August 12 general elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ECZ Director for Electoral Operations, Royd Katongo said a Technical Committee directed with the responsibility of mainstreaming COVID-19 preventive measures into the 2021 election calendar identified campaigns as one of the events that may contribute towards spreading the virus.
He said the committee has since developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) aimed at guiding stakeholders conduct in relation to the election calendar.
“According to Ministry of Health, crowds and public gatherings are among the super spreaders of the virus. To that effect, the Technical Committee has identified electoral activities that fall in this category and developed the SOPs accordingly. The following are the electoral activities for which the SOPs have been developed.
Payment of nomination fees by all aspiring candidates, certification of the register of voters, Presidential Preprocessing of supporters, nominations, campaigns, voting and post-election reviews,” he said.
Mr Katongo further said the matter is of life and death and must be approached with utmost caution.
He said stakeholders in the electoral process including political parties must take full responsibility of what will transpire as a result of failure to adhere to the guidelines recommended by the Technical Committee.
It’s a “new dawn” for 700 inmates set free by President Hakainde Hichilema.
PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has pardoned 700 inmates from various correctional facilities countrywide in commemoration of Zambia’s 57th Independence anniversary.
Speaking at a media briefing , Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security. Jack Mwiimbu said among the pardoned inmates are 642 males, 10 of whom are old aged while 58 are females, 24 of them with circumstantial children
Mr Mwiimbu said the pardoning of the inmates will allow for social distancing in correctional facilities to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
He said the move by the President will also go a long way on in addressing congestion in correctional centers which currently have 23,062 as of today, October 23rd 2021 at 06:00hrs.
“As you may be aware 200 inmates are admitted at various Correctional Facility per week,” he said.
And the Minister has directed the Zambia Correctional Service to urgently submit full inventory of all the inmates and remandees with the corresponding offences and length of stay in all the correctional centers in the country.
“I have directed the Correctional Facility to submit an inventory of all inmates. I would like to that President Hichilema for exercising his prerogative of mercy, this will go a long way in decongesting the facilities,” he said.
PF is not shaken about the intended asset recovery programme, says Given Lubinda
PATRIOTIC Front Vice President Given Lubinda says the party is not shaken about the intention by the UPND administration to embark on the asset recovery programme.
In an interview, Mr Lubinda has since advised the UPND government to quickly start the programme.
He said the sooner the programme is embarked on, the better it will be for the UPND government to end the drama of insinuating and banding all PF members as thieves.
“If they are members of the PF that they know as thieves let them pursue those specific people, instead of labelling the whole party as an organisation of thieves.
Mr Lubinda added that it is not true that every one in the PF is a thief, hence the sooner they do it the better.
He has since urged the UPND government to ensure the program is conducted in a legal manner by following all the laid down government procedure.
“They are welcome and let them proceed to do so,” Mr Lubinda said.
Police arrest Kampyongo in Shiwang’andu for malicious damage to property
POLICE have arrested Andrew Kampyongo aged 41 and Kellyson Chilekwa aged 29 both of Village Teleni, Chief Mukwikile, District in Shiwang’andu for Malicious Damage to Property.
In a media statement, Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga has told Mwebantu that Kampyongo and Chilekwa allegedly maliciously damaged a samsung cell phone valued at K1,000 property of Mike Mulenga aged 40 of Village Chafilwa, Chief Mukwikile, District Shiwang’andu.
He said the duo is also alleged to have damaged a front screen for a Toyota Land Cruiser Registration AAK 1031 valued at K4,500 and Rear tail lights valued at K750 property of Dr Albert Munanga.
Mr Hamoonga said Kampyongo and Chilekwa also damaged JVC Speakers valued at K12,000 property of the United Party for National Development (UPND) Party.
He said the total value of damaged properties is K18,250.
Mr Hamoonga said the incidents are alleged to have occurred on July 10 this year at around 10:00 hours at Kalalantekwe Market Square, Chief Mukwikile, District Shiwang’andu.
“They have been detained in Police Custody and will appear in Court soon,” hee said.