of ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (ACJ News) – THE main rivals in the upcoming general elections in Zambia owe it to the legacy of the late Kenneth Kaunda to overcome their animosity and ensure the credibility of the August elections.
They should avoid any further bloodshed and destruction of property prior to the exercise.
Ndola, one of the country’s largest cities, took the lead after the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) pledged to campaign without violence .
This is in stark contrast to the political temperatures prevailing in this southern African country leading up to what will be its most fiercely contested elections ever.
In Ndola, aspiring candidates from major political parties presented a united front as the campaign peaked.
The aspiring candidates recently held a press conference in which they revealed that the move was inspired by the first president of independent Zambia, Kaunda, who recently passed away.
He died last week after battling pneumonia. He was 97 years old.
“We (are) one Zambian nation,” said Frank Tayali, the UPND aspiring candidate for Ndola Central.
It was referring to the motto inscribed on the coat of arms of Zambia.
Kaunda defended the slogan to stress the need for unity in a country of more than 70 ethnic groups.
âWe are not enemies,â Tayali said.
“How we treat each other now will determine how we treat each other after the election,” he said.
The opposition candidate called on the population to put the interest of the country before his parties.
âGovernments come and go but the country will not go. It is important that we show restraint, âsaid Tayali.
Bowman Lusambo, the provincial FP mobilization coordinator for the Copperbelt, echoed these sentiments.
Ndola is the provincial capital and the industrial and commercial center.
âWe want to turn a new leaf,â Lusambo said.
âWe’re just competing here. We are not here to fight. “
He is the aspirant for the Kabushi constituency.
âI took advantage of the campaigns in this constituency alongside the UPND. We exercise our democratic rights by showing off our symbols, âLusambo said.
Marvin Chanda Mberi, a law scholar, called on Zambians to honor Kaunda by holding peaceful elections.
“Dr Kaunda had instilled the spirit of putting Zambia above narrow personal ambitions,” Mberi said.
Ndola is the second largest city in Zambia in terms of infrastructure development and the third in terms of size and population.
He was not spared by the electoral violence of recent years.
In 2011, skirmishes erupted after opposition supporters took to the streets to protest the alleged laziness in the publication of election results.
Then the opposition candidate, Michael Sata (now late), of PF defeated the outgoing president, Rupiah Banda of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy.
– CAJ News