You cant ban rallies, ECZ tells Solomon Jere

Solomon Jere

Solomon Jere

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says it is surprised and regrets the banning of campaign rallies by the Zambian Police.

Spokesperson Chris Akufuna said in a press statement in Livingstone on Monday  that the Zambia Police has no mandate to ban political rallies. He  explained that it is the ECZ that is mandated to set up an election time-table including a campaign timetable which should be respected by all stakeholders.
Deputy Inspector of Police Dr Solomon Jere on Sunday Febraury 24, 2013 announced that the all public rallies had been banned in the Livingstone constituency by-elections two days before the closing stipulated time as provided in the Electoral Act.
Akufuna maintained that  political campaigns, including rallies for both constituencies – Mpongwe and Livingstone close at 6am on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 as stated in the statements issued by ECZ  on 10th October, 2013.
“The ECZ  has noted with regret the statement made by Dr Jere banning public rallies during campaigns in Livingstone by-election and  I wish to reiterate that political campaigns including rallies will end tomorrow the 26th of February at exactly 06:00 hours,” Mr. Akufuna said.
He said ECZ was not aware of any ban of party campaigns as announced by Dr Jere on Sunday.
“The Commission  is not aware of any ban of political campaigns as announced  by Dr Jere and I want to state that it is the mandate of the commission to set up election time table, including a campaign time table which should be adhered to by all political parties and stakeholders without exception ,” Akufuna said. “The Commission therefore regrets the confusion that has risen from the statement made by Dr Jere.”
The ban was serious criticized and the opposition political parties ignored Dr. Jere’s announcement and went ahead with their campaign rallies on Monday for their final campaigns.
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