Lusaka, 20 July, 2021 / 8:30 pm (ACI Africa).
Catholic Bishops in Zambia have cautioned political actors against inciting members of the public to violence before, during and after general elections scheduled to take place on August 12.
“We appeal to all political contestants to refrain from acts of violence, hate speech and malice, but to show cause why they should be elected,” members of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) say in their collective statement issued at the end of their Plenary Assembly on July 16.
In their statement, the Catholic Bishops express concerns about cases of violence including destruction of property, abductions, the shedding of blood, and hate speech seen in ethnic and tribal name-calling that have become common in the Southern African nation.
Tensions have risen in Zambia in recent weeks as supporters of President Edgar Lungu of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and those of United Party for National Development's (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema, clash in what seems to be a tight contest ahead of the poll.
Last month, the Electoral Commission of Zambia suspended the PF and UPND parties from campaigning in the capital, Lusaka, and three other districts because of the alleged political violence.