Zambian President Michael Sata has commended the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for valuing lives more than elections by postponing the Livingstone parliamentary by-election which was scheduled to take place Thursday. ECZ chairperson Justice Irene Mabilima on Wednesday announced that the commission had decided to postpone the Livingstone parliamentary by-election, scheduled for 28 February, following violence that had trailed the campaigns that resulted in the death of Harrison Chanda, on Monday, according to an official of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF). Police picked up more than 10 members from the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND), including its leader Hakainde Hichelema and two UPND members of parliament in connection with the killing of Chanda who died after a clash between UPND and PF. The UPND leader has been charged with proposing violence.
Reacting to the announcement from ECZ, President Sata on Thursday said the decision by ECZ is a lesson that violence will not be condoned.
“It is disgraceful and cruel that those who killed want to pretend to be victims,” President Sata said in a statement Thursday.
“We lost a member in Rufunsa at the hands of UPND; we have lost another member in Livingstone at the hands of UPND yet again. Clearly, these calculated acts of brutality are at the behest of the enemies of democracy whose political thrust is abominable hate and intolerance,” the head of state said.