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Friday, 3 October 2008

Chiefs and election fever (6)

A previous blog noted that, "it will be interesting to see whether the new Anti Rigging Zambia [ARZ] and others pick up this issue as a potenatial violation of the electoral code, and seek to bring the matter up in the court of law". Well as it turns out, the issue is already on ARZ's radar :

Anti -Rigging Zambia (ARZ) Limited has warned traditional rulers against engaging in partisan politics saying they risk deregistration when the organisation takes their cases to court.

And the ARZ, which was officially launched yesterday, has said it will criminalise all forms of electoral fraud like vote-buying and selling, and urged the public media to give equal coverage to all political parties or face litigation.

Speaking at the launch in Lusaka yesterday, ARZ legal director, Kelvin Bwalya said it was illegal for chiefs to involve themselves in partisan politics, like campaigning for party candidates.

Mr Bwalya said a court action against chiefs’ involvement in politics was one of the cases lined up by the organisation and warned that more public institutions would be dragged to court to ensure an improved electoral process.

He cited Chief Kopa of the Bisa people in Mpika District who was captured showing a political party symbol as a typical example of the traditional rulers flouting the laws.

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