By Macdonald Chipenzi
THE NOTION THAT WHEN A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT IS IN A CERTAIN CONSTITUENCY OR DISTRICT, OTHER POLITICAL PARTIES MUST CEASE TO CAMPAIGN IS FAULTY AT LAW.
Since the fracas in Sesheke last week happened where both President Lungu and Opposition leader HH went to canvass for support for their respective candidates, in the same district and same day, for the Sesheke Parliamentary bye election, commentators including Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo and policr have advanced a view that HH should not have been there in the same district where and day when the Republican President was in the district.
I wondered where, in the electoral Act or Code of Conduct, that notion is birthed because my perusal of the two pieces of legislation reveal that such prescription is not there anywhere unless someone proves me wrong.
However, this is what the law states signed by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and enacted by Hon. Kampyongo among others:
Under Regulation 15(1)(d) of the Electoral Code of Conduct which is now part of the Electoral Process Act No. 35 of 2016 states, “a person shall not arrange a public meeting, demonstration, rally or March at the same *time and venue* as another similar political event organized by another political or candidate”.
From the above law prescription, only arranging “public meeting a rally, meeting, demonstration or march at the same time and venue, and not in the same district or/and day, as another similar political event organized by another political party or candidate” is outlawed and not what is being advanced by some people, Hon Kampyongo and police.
Let us read and respect our own laws we enact and assent to.