Millions of Zambians are voting today in general and presidential elections as voting gets underway in most parts of the country.
Long queues have been forming up in Lusaka as early as 4:00 am, with voters eager to cast their votes.
President Edgar Lungu is seeking a second term and faces a challenge from Hakainde Hichilema and a host of other candidates including former Vice President Nevers Mumba and Socialist party President Fred M’membe, who is contesting for the first time.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia has promised a transparent and credible process.
Last night, President Edgar Lungu urged Zambians to uphold peace as they turn up to cast their votes in today’s general election.
President Lungu said that Zambia is a peaceful nation adding that the status quo should remain the same as the electorate cast their votes.
Speaking during a national address on the eve of the 12 August general election on ZNBC , the head of state further urged Zambians against practicing any form of tribalism.
Mr Lungu said Zambians must not be swayed by acts of tribalism even as they cast their votes in the highly anticipated election.
“ I am determined for peace to be upheld hence my decision to deploy defense personnel in selected parts of the country to maintain law and order during and after the election, ‘’ he said.
He defended the move saying the peace that has been recorded in the recent past is as a result of the step taken.
The President said citizens should not be intimidated by the presence of soldiers in some parts of the country as the move is purely meant to main law and order.
Mr Lungu clarified that the defence force has only been deployed in selected parts of the country and not nationwide.
“I want to make it very clear that this measure to deploy soldiers is not national as you may have noticed. It is not in all areas but in selected troubled spots and people are going about their business normally contrary to what our opponents, some diplomats and some international media are reporting,” Mr Lungu said.
The President urged the electorate to turn out in their numbers to vote freely without any intimidation.
Mr. Lungu called on the electorate to report to law enforcement officers anyone who will threaten them with violence as they turn up to vote.
The head of state urged citizens to also pray for peace to prevail during the general polls.
President Lungu further urged the Zambia Army to see to it that law and order is maintained.
“I therefore urge the defence forces led by the Army Commander to ensure total national security,” he said.
The head of state also urged Zambians to comply with COVID-19 preventive guidelines as they cast their votes.
With some few hours to go, the country’s 7, 0223, 499 registered voters are due to elect their Republican President, parliamentary and local government representatives including mayors and district chairpersons for the next five years.
Source: Lusaka Times