United Church of Zambia (UCZ) Northern Presbytery Bishop, Maybin Musonda has advised political parties taking part in the Lukashya Parliamentary By-election to exercise utmost tolerance and engage in development focused campaigns.
Bishop Mulenga said candidates vying for the Lukashya seat and their respective parties should desist from hate speech, name calling and violence as they woo voters ahead of the September 17 by-election.
He noted that it is unjustified for political players to create anarchy in the run up to the polls, saying the people of Lukashya should be allowed to freely choose their representative.
“In my pastoral counsel to the politicians, I wish to urge them to exercise utmost tolerance and avoid violence because what we want is peace. They should desist from politics of insults, regionalism and tribalism” Bishop Mulenga said.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Kasama, Bishop Mulenga also urged electorates in the area to reject politics of violence and division.
And Bishop Mulenga has challenged clergymen to be above board and remain non-partisan in carrying out the work of God.
He said it is sad that some ministers of the gospel are openly taking sides and influencing people to support certain political parties in election time.
Bishop Mulenga said the clergy should strive to be peacemakers and not divide the people they lead on political lines.
“It is not our duty to stand on the roof top, present some certain candidates, anoint them and present them as messiahs to the people. Ours is to be peacemakers” He said
Meanwhile, Caritas Kasama Director, Leonard Kalyoti has appealed to political parties participating in the Lukashya Parliamentary By-election to engage in issue based campaigns unlike instigating violence.
Fr Kalyoti observed that Lukashya Constituency has been lagging behind and needs a leader that is determined to address the aspirations of the people.
He further cautioned youths against being used as instruments of destruction during campaigns.
“The people of Lukashya should take time to scrutinize the candidates and not be swayed by sweet talk. Our youths must also refrain from violence. “Said Fr Kalyoti
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has set September 17, 2020 as the date for the Lukashya Parliamentary By-election following the death of Independent Member of Parliament, Mwenya Munkonge on July 18.