via Lessons for Zim as Zambia votes New Zimbabwe 19/01/2015
ZAMBIANS go to the polls Tuesday to elect a new president to replace the late Micheal Sata.
With eleven presidential candidates vying for the same post political temperature in the country is normal with the ruling party Patriotic Front candidate appearing to be the favourite to win the post.
The main presidential contenders are Edgar Lungu of the ruling party and Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the opposition United Party for National Development.
NewZimbabwe.com crew is on the ground in Lusaka where the environment is generally peaceful with the city painted in different pictures by billboards bearing various presidential candidates’ promises to the nation.
By Zimbabwean standards, Zambians have politically matured-lessons for Zimbabwe-as there is relatively no politically motivated violence hours before the polls.
Bishop Godwin Chelah of a local Pentecostal church who will be part of the observers said Zambians have vowed that only the ballot paper will speak for them.
“Zambians have matured and they will speak through the ballot paper,” Chelah said.
“Violence is history as you can see people from across the divide are interacting very well,” he said.
Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) director Rindai Vava Chipfunde said Zambians have a better lesson for Zimbabwe.
“Zambia set better precedent in last elections like simple accreditation of observers with no restrictions. Now they decentralised it to districts, use of ICTs in results management improves transparency and the country is enjoying relatively peaceful environment,” she said.