Thursday, September 22, 2011

AFRICA: ZAMBIA: PEACE IN POLLS SOUGHT BY CHURCHES

LUSAKA, September 20, 2011 CISA REPORT–The church in Zambia on Monday 19 appealed to its citizens to vote peacefully and avoid all forms of violence as they participate in the presidential polls today September 20.

The appeals were made by the Catholic Church, United Church of Zambia and Seventh Day Adventist.

“What we have achieved was obtained in many years of investment and should not be allowed to be wasted with post-election-violence. Every Zambian should be an ambassador of peace,” Fr. Chilinda Charles, Parish Priest of the St Ignatius Church in Lusaka said.

There are about 5 million registered voters according to Fides.

The chief contenders are the outgoing Head of State, Rupiah Banda and the main opposition leader Michael Sata.

Reports say the polls have opened in a climate of tension, and riots were reported in Kanyama, a major slum in Lusaka following allegations of electoral fraud by the opposition militants.

President Banda, leader of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy has been in power for the last three years.

During his regime, there has been a tremendous economic growth of 7.6 percent in 2010 brought about by the major export, copper. However, the opposition disputes the president’s economic policies that failed to distribute the wealth equally given that 64 percent of Zambians still live below the poverty line on less than USD$ 2 per day.

http://www.cisanewsafrica.com/?p=2682

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