The 17-member Commonwealth observer mission in Zambia led by former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete has accused the country’s private and public media of being polarised in their coverage of the country’s general election.
In an interim statement on the elections presented by Jakaya Kikwete on his Twitter page, he said: “both the public and private media have in some cases reported events inaccurately”.
It is view of stakeholders that media in Zambia is polarised. Both public and private media have in some cases reported events innacurately— Jakaya Kikwete (@jmkikwete) August 13, 2016
He however hailed the police for being non-intrusive with their presence despite the huge turn-out.
Kikwete assessed the election process as credible and transparent with a few challenges including inadequate education on the process, queue management and late opening of a few polling stations.
“We appeal to all Zambians to refrain from making any utterances and acts that could trigger tensions and affect post election enviroment,” he said urging all the parties and candidates to “seek redress for any grievances through peaceful dialogue and through prescribed legal channels.”
Urge all parties and candidates in Zambia to seek redress for any grievances through peaceful dialogue and through prescribed legal channels— Jakaya Kikwete (@jmkikwete) August 13, 2016
“The Commonwealth urge all political parties and candidates in Zambia to respect the will of the people of Zambia,” he added.
Results announced on Saturday morning indicate that the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) candidate, Hakainde Hichilema, is in the lead with 47, 706 votes followed by the incumbent Edgar Lungu with 41, 572 votes.