FOREIGN Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba has assured the international community of peaceful, free and fair elections on August 11, 2016.
Speaking when the European Union (EU) election observer mission paid a courtesy call on him at his office, Mr Kalaba assured the delegation that Government’s desire and commitment was to abide by the election regulations and ensure free and fair elections.
He said Government condemned violence and had since taken measures to ensure that elections would be peaceful.
He told the delegation that on March 29, 2016, Zambia held an inter-party dialogue meeting of 18 political party presidents to discuss the issue of political violence in the run-up to the August elections.
“Dialogue was facilitated by three church mother bodies, namely, the Council Churches of Zambia (CCZ), Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) and the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC),” Mr Kalaba said.
He said during the meeting political parties agreed on modalities to help stop the violence that had been reported in some parts of the country.
Mr Kalaba told the delegation that the political party leaders also unanimously agreed to promote a violence- free political environment ahead of the elections as a way of expressing political tolerance for the development of the country.
He also acknowledged the longstanding and cordial relationship between Zambia and the European Union.
Mr Kalaba thanked the European Union for taking part in elections observation mission to Zambia over the years.
He thanked the EU for the financial support it had continued to render to Zambia to ensure successful elections.
Mr Kalaba said he was confident that the EU election observer mission would conduct their assignment based on principles of transparency.
The minister said as per tradition Government invited the EU mission to observe the elections.
The six-man delegation will visit Zambia from 13 to 16 April to report on the preparations for the presidential and general elections.
The delegation is expected to meet various stakeholders including the Electoral Commission of Zambia, civil society and opposition political parties among others.