Three Presidential hopefuls call for peaceful elections

With only a day before the presidential election, the Patriotic Front, UPND and MMD have appealed to all Zambians to remain peaceful as they await the outcome of tomorrow’s poll.

PF president Edgar Lungu has said the cherished peace and stability that Zambia has enjoyed for decades should not be endangered by differences of political opinion.

And UPND president Hakainde Hichilema urged Zambians not to resort to violence under any circumstances and that they should be heard through the ballot.

Meanwhile, MMD president Nevers Mumba said political violence should be stopped as Zambia ‘‘belongs to all of us.’’

Mr Lungu urged Zambians to reject all forms of behaviour that had the potential to undermine the country’s stability now and after the elections.

He said his confidence in the Zambian people’s resolve to uphold the tenets of democracy had grown even further following his recent extended tour of the country as he campaigned for the presidency.

“There is no doubt the greater majority of our people are resolved to uphold and defend the values of democracy. They believe in competition but remain committed to the sanctity of national unity. National interest as it were, will always invariably take precedence over personal and sectional interests.

“My tour of this beloved country increases my confidence in our people’s resolve to keep this country as a united, vibrant democracy.  This is what makes this country unique and every citizen must make a contribution towards the ongoing process of nation-building. Countrymen and women, the PF’s commitment in the years ahead, is to keep Zambia a bastion of stability, united in peaceful commerce across all facets of national life,” he said.

Mr Lungu said Zambians should reject tribalism, political violence, and name-calling and smear campaigns against one another and that they should also reject the temptation to turn political competition into hatred and violence.

And Mr Hichilema said there was nothing good that could be gained by violent means and acts of intimidation and that the leadership of the party would always condemn the scourge in the strongest terms.

He said his party had been making the most of every minute available to campaign just as they intended to use every minute available to deliver for the Zambian people if elected to State House.

“Do not let those who seek to distract us from the real issues with talk of diverse matters such as tribalism succeed. We know that only by working together can we deliver truly transformative change for Zambians, regardless of their age, gender or tribe.

“This is the very reason why we have opened our arms to all Zambians during the campaign. When we have been sharing our vision, whether at public debates in Lusaka, rallies in Chipata, radio interviews in Kasama or market tours in Chingola,we have been talking not about delivering change for one province or party but for all Zambians.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mumba said political violence experienced in the country ahead of Tuesday’s election was worrying and political leaders should commit themselves to counsel their cadres to stop it.

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