British and United States Governments have provided a combined K24.3 million towards the January 20, 2015 presidential election. Britain has provided approximately K13 million while the United States through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided 11.3 million Kwacha about $1.8 million. British High Commissioner to Zambia James Thornton in a statement to QFM says the UK is also supporting election observation by civil society and the conduct of a parallel vote tabulation exercise. Mr Thornton says the 20th January presidential elections are an opportunity to further build on Zambia’s growing reputation in Africa as a democratic country. Mr Thornton however, says reports of electoral violence in some parts of the country are a source of concern.
He has commended political leaders for being quick to condemn such lapses and has hailed Police for swiftly dealing with such cases.
The British High Commissioner says it is important that candidates are free to campaign across the country without intimidation. He has called on everyone involved in the elections to adhere scrupulously to the electoral code of conduct.
He has further called on the public media to give scrupulously fair coverage to the campaigns of the different candidates, without pressure being exerted on them by one side or another, and hopes that the private media will exercise a similar balance.