CIVIL servants, especially district commissioners should avoid engaging in active partisan campaigns in Lubansenshi and Solwezi West, the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has advised.
FODEP executive director McDonald Chipenzi has also appealed to all stakeholders including the police in both Lubansenshi and Solwezi West parliamentary by-elections to exercise restraint and respect the Electoral Code of Conduct in the electoral contest.
Mr Chipenzi has commended the police for not affecting an arrest on Patrick Mucheleka who is a parliamentary candidate in the Lubansenshi candidate on the UPND ticket.
“FODEP wishes to commend the Police in Luwingu District of Northern Province for not arresting UPND candidate, Mr. Patrick Mucheleka in the midst of electoral campaigns,” he said.
Mr. Mucheleka was being pursued by the police on suspicion that he incited his sympathizers to beat up Luwingu District Commissioner, Patrick Chanda for allegedly campaigning for the ruling party ahead of the Lubansenshi parliamentary by-election.
Mr Chipenzi said Mr Mucheleka was reported to have gone into hiding the past four days for fear of being arrested by the police, a situation which, if it persisted, would have negatively affected his electoral campaigns.
He said the move by the Police to just record a “warn and caution” statement from Mr. Mucheleka was a welcome move as opposed to effecting an arrest.
“…In as much as a “warn and caution” statement does not mean an acquittal from the alleged crime, the fact that the police did not effect an arrest will give Mr. Mucheleka time to canvass electoral support by freely carrying out his campaigns,” Mr Chipenzi said.
And Mr Chipenzi said FODEP was currently organizing a Manifesto Day in both Lubansenshi and Solwezi West aimed at creating a platform for all contesting candidates to share their plans and interact with the electorate.