LUSAKA Province Police Commissioner Nelson Phiri says the command has put various measures in place to ensure a safer, peaceful and secure electoral environment for all citizens in the capital ahead of next Thursday’s general elections.
And Mr Phiri said in order to ensure security at all polling stations, police have deployed officers in all seven zones of Lusaka, catering for all seven constituencies in the province.
He said each zone has been allocated with a substantial number of officers stationed there and will be supervised by senior officers who can easily be contacted in case of an emergency.
Speaking during an electoral stakeholders meeting with political parties , civil society (CSO) and faith-based organizations in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Phiri said over 30 cases of electoral violence have been recorded such as destruction of campaign materials , shooting incidents , malicious damage to both private and public property and physical attacks on innocent citizens and the police.
Mr Phiri said some of the measures the police have put in place ahead of the elections include increased police presence in communities, public awareness campaigns against electoral violence and enhanced collaboration with electoral stakeholders.
Mr Phiri said during the 2011 general elections, the police recorded incidents such as burning of motor vehicles in Kanyama constituency, riotous behaviour in Lilanda compound, harassment of electoral officers and political violence and clashing between political parties.
The commissioner said it was the prime focus of Zambia Police to promote the rule of law, respect for human rights, safeguard lives and property during the electoral process and ensure that sponsors and perpetrators of violence were arrested and face the law.
And civil society organization representative (CSO) Judy Mulenga has commended the police for the preparations and measures that it had put in place ahead of the elections.
Ms Mulenga said the issue of elections was a fundamental civil and political human right.
She said it was important that human rights were promoted to benefit human beings.
Meanwhile, faith-based organizations representative, Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) chairperson Rev Michael Ngondwe, said peace was cardinal to every developing nation.
And Mr Phiri presented footballs to political parties as a way to symbolize peace for them to play ‘‘peaceful football’’.