The law which restricts politicians to conduct political campaigns to a few weeks preceding an election should be repealed, says Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) governance advisor Isaac Mwanza.
Mr Mwanza alleged that the law had largely been abused to stop opposition parties from campaigning while allowing ruling parties to reach out to the public.
He said the actions by the Police had reduced the opposition parties to conducting campaigns under the cover of visiting the sick, talking to farmers while the ruling elites could hold public meetings and rallies under the cover of inspecting development projects, commissioning, swearing in ceremonies to get the messages out.
“In a competitive multiparty democracy where political leaders from both the ruling and opposition party are expected to convince the electorate to buy their messages on how best they can govern the country, restricting campaign periods to a few weeks or months with precondition that such campaigns must follow the archaic Public Order Act is retrogressive to the growth of democracy in Zambia,” he said.
He said politicians must not be restricted in passing out their message to prescribed periods as the business of convincing people was long term which could not be restricted to a prescription of a civil servant running a public office.
Mr Mwanza said politicians should be allowed to meet and talk to voters anywhere, everywhere, at any time and all the time because it was the duty of a politician.
“Politicians do not need permission from anyone and what we see people in uniform doing may be infringing the rights of politicians to campaign whenever they want prior to an actual election,” he said.
Mr Mwanza said the police must deal with perpetrators of violence and stop being selective in the manner they handled policians in Zambia, to avoid chaos.