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Police detain Lungu-led PF Sec-Gen for ‘failing to obey statutory duty’

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The Secretary-General of the Patriotic Front faction led by former Zambian President Edgar Lungu, Raphael Nakacinda, has been detained at Kabwata Police Station in Lusaka, according to his lawyer, Makebi Zulu.

Zulu, who revealed th development to journalists in Lusaka on Monday, said his client was arrested and detained for allegedly “failing to obey statutory duty” after a warning and caution statement was recorded from him.

Zulu said the police had, sometime in 2022, accused Nakacinda of making a statement to the public which reportedly “infuriated” the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).

The lawyer stated that the ECZ had then accused Nakacinda of failing to “obey a statutory duty by making a statement relating to the Commission.”

“Police have since detained Nakacinda on the charge of failing to obey statutory duty when he had no duty whatsoever,” Zulu told journalists.

He lamented that it appeared no one in the country was allowed to say anything against the Commission as it would be deemed criminal.

The PF Information and Publicity Chairperson, Emmanuel Mwamba, who also spoke on the detention of Nakacinda, accused the ECZ of lacking independence and fair-play.

Mwamba noted that the PF, on several occasions, made complaints about the employment of known United Party for National Development members such as Mwangala Zaloumis and lack of independence at the Commission.

“Honourable Nakacinda expressed concern that he had information on pre-marked ballot papers during the Lusangazi, Mkushi and Mwense Council Chairperson by-elections,” Mwamba said.

He however expressed shock that the Commission had not taken the same action against President Hakainde Hichilema when he made similar allegations whilst in the opposition.

Mwamba also alleged that the arrest and detention of Nakacinda was a plan to intimidate the opposition, but vowed that the party would not give up on participating in enhancing democracy in the country.

Metro

‘Reconsider your anti-people policies, they are causing hardship, insecurity in Nigeria’— PDP tells Tinubu

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Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has called on President Bola Tinubu to consider what it calls his anti-people policies that are causing hardship and escalating insecurity in the country.

The PDP, which made the call on Thursday during the party’s 98th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at its National Secretariat in Abuja, also urged the President to urgently convene a special National Security Council (NSC) meeting to “proffer a holistic solution and measures to curb the disturbing insecurity in the country.”

In a Communique issued at the end of meeting and signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, the party said it was worried by the anti-peoples policies of President Tinubu-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

The former ruling party it was difficult to understand why Tinubu has not reconsidered some of his policies, “which had led to worsening insecurity, harrowing economic hardship, soaring unemployment rate, high cost of food and other necessities of life with pervading misery and despondency across the country.”

“NEC expresses concern over the ill-implemented policies of the insensitive APC administration, leading to worsening insecurity, harrowing economic hardship, soaring unemployment rate, high cost of food and other necessities of life with pervading misery and despondency across the country,” the communiqué reads.

“NEC expresses serious apprehensions over the spate of acts of terrorism and violence including the escalated cases of mindless killings, mass abduction of innocent Nigerians and marauding of communities in various parts of the country.

“NEC condemns the insensitivity, nonchalance, incompetence and arrogance in failure of the APC administration which continues to conduct itself in a manner that shows that it has no iota of interest or commitment towards the wellbeing of Nigerians,” the PDP added.

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Zambia asks EU to help strengthen its democratic initiatives ahead of 2026 elections

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The Zambian government has called on the European Union (EU) to help in strengthening democratic initiatives in the country as it prepares for general elections in 2026.

Justice Minister, Mulambo Haimbe, who made the request when EU Ambassador to Zambia and COMESA, Karolina Stasiak, handed over the 2021 elections report to him in Lusaka on Wednesday, said the project which came to an end in 2021 contributed greatly to the smooth electoral processes which saw the election of President Hakainde Hichilema into office.

“We are live to the fact that the strengthening democracy in Zambia played a very crucial role in the run up to the 2021 general elections and we want a similar process in the run up to the 2026 general elections,” Haimbe said during the meeting.

Haimbe, who is also the acting Foriegn Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, stated that the Zambian government had projected mid 2025 to close up areas that had been identified in the electoral and legal reforms.

He noted that government had given itself mid 2025 as the timeframe of significant steps in the electoral reforms with some of the steps achieved already, like the passing of the Access to Information law.

“The others we have discussed include some of the low hanging fruits like the amendment to the electoral Act and amendment to the Constitution which we consider at the Executive as non contentious to foster democracy,” Haimbe stated.

The minister also pledged that government would continue to work with various stakeholders like the EU, to further improving the democratic space in the country.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, Stasiak said the report was an independent expert report and not necessarily the views of the EU in Zambia.

“It is an assessment done at expert level comparing to international standards on electoral process and reforms and they have formulated this report also comparing to the recommendations made by the missions in 2021,” she stated.

Stasiak further highlighted that the report noted improvements which had been made in the electoral reforms such as the implementation of the Access to Information law and the removal of the Defamation of the President from the Penal Code.

“Zambia is a very good example, an important example within the region to demonstrate that democracy can go hand in hand with sustainable development,” Stasiak emphasized.

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