The President spoke when he addressed the issue of 2021 general elections, during his ceremonial opening of Parliament on Friday morning.
President Lungu said: “we are one people, and one nation before, during and after elections.”
He said that principle of oneness should apply even to the forthcoming by-elections in Mwansabombwe and Lukashya Constituencies set for this coming Thursday, September 17.
“Elections should not divide us. We are one people, and one nation before, during and after elections,” President Lungu said.
“This is what we all deserve. This is what we should all strive to achieve. This is what will consolidate Zambia’s position as a beacon of peace.”
President Lungu called upon all political leaders, their members and ordinary citizens to preach peace and love during campaigns, as well as refrain from utterances and actions that may incite violence before, during and after the general elections.
“We should, at all times, inculcate the value of peace and love among our members,” he said.
The Head of State told the House that the 2021 general elections, in furtherance of people’s will and in line with the Republican Constitution, would be held on Thursday, August 12 2021.
He said to adequately prepare for the forthcoming general elections, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) would undertake a voter registration exercise this year.
The President added that such would include mobile as well as online voter pre-registration.
“I urge all eligible voters to be patriotic and exercise their civic duty to vote by participating in the upcoming voter registration exercise. We will all be called upon to either register or verify our details under the new register,” President said.
“This is the only way to exercise our right to vote and be able to choose leaders of our choice. A new register for the 2021 general elections will also be prepared by the Electoral Commission of Zambia. This measure will, among other benefits, eliminate possible duplicate records.”
President Lungu further explained that to ensure as many eligible voters as possible exercised their right to vote in the 2021 general elections, government had embarked on the mobile issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs).
He said the NRC issuance exercise is intended to increase coverage and reach out to our citizens who live in far-flung areas across the country.
The Head of State implored all stakeholders, including members of parliament, traditional and religious leaders, civic leaders, civil society organisations and all patriotic Zambians to ensure that all eligible citizens acquire or replace their NRCs.
President Lungu expects that the campaigns for the 2021 general elections will be issue-based and peaceful.
“There should be no room for violent campaigns. Elections come and go,” said President Lungu.
“As citizens, therefore, we have a duty to come together and forge ahead with the development of our country after the elections.”
Meanwhile President Lungu is today expected to join campaigns in Mwansabombwe Constituency in Luapula Province to drum up support for PF candidate Kabaso Kampampi.
According to Luapula Province Minister Nickson Chilangwa the President would land at Mansa Airport at 14:00 hours before connecting to Mwansabombwe District.
Chilangwa said while in Mwansabombwe, the Head of State would also pay a courtesy call on Mwata Kazembe of the Lunda people and meet village Headmen before addressing public rallies.
Chilangwa disclosed that the Head of State would also visit Kawambwa District during his two – day campaign tour in the Province.