By Nation Reporter
OPPOSITION political leaders should not be desperate and become prophets of doom to start wishing for war in Zambia ahead of the forthcoming August 11, 2016 general elections, says Evangelical Church in Zambia executive director Pukuta Mwanza.
Rev. Mwanza said political party presidents must be careful and desist from using any kind of language that would incite violence, or war in the forthcoming elections.
He said instead, politicians must be commending the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for allowing stakeholders symposia for the exchange of notes on the various grievances on the forthcoming elections.
He said leaders must be the last people to agitate trouble in any situation as their role was to exemplify the need for peaceful campaigns and ultimately event-free elections.
He was reacting to UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema who said the 11th August, 2016 general elections would bring war in Zambia if the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) did not listen to the concerns raised by stakeholders.
And Nevers Mumba of MMD charged that ECZ was pushing for a fight and bloodshed ahead of the August general elections by imposing what had been rejected by stakeholders.
Rainbow Party leader Wynter Kabimba also warned that Zambia could follow the example of the Kenya post-election civil war in which over 1,200 people died.
The warning followed the decision by the Electoral Commission of Zambia to officially inform all the political parties that they have awarded the contract to print ballot papers for the 2016 election to the controversial Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LCC of Dubai.
Speaking at the ECZ stakeholders briefing, Mr Hichilema said the 11th August general elections would bring war in the country because the Commission was not willing to listen to stakeholders.
“We don’t want the smell of what is going on, Mr Chairman. Don’t stand in the way of 15 million Zambians. It’s not a threat but take it from us with due respect. We want our phones in the polling stations.
“We want to conduct parallel voter tabulation. We don’t trust your own tallying. In the 20th January, 2015 elections, my results were changed and that sister of mine (pointing at FDD president Edith Nawakwi) her results were changed in many polling stations,” Mr Hichilema said.
He said the 11th August elections would bring conflict in this country and there was no question about it.
“We don’t want conflict but don’t be instigators of conflict,” Mr Hichilema said while directly addressing ECZ chairperson Justice Esau Chulu.
Mr Hichilema also complained that the Commission had denied UPND its ‘‘constitutional right’’ to conduct Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT).