ZAMBIA: Signing peace accords which aren’t implemented pointless – Sinkamba

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GREEN Party presidential candidate Peter Sinkamba says it is pointless for political party
leaders to continually keep signing peace accords, which are never implemented.
The Green Party was among other political parties that did not sign the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s peace accord last Friday, arguing that mechanisms and guidelines of such agreements
were never implemented.
In an interview in Kitwe, Sinkamba said lack of implementation of the peace accord rendered the signing of the agreement useless.
“We needed an addendum which will spell out what must be done in case a political party breaches the code, what system must be in place to deal with such a party. And from that commitment, it becomes easier to bar or discipline such a party because they signed,” Sinkamba said.
He said there was need to make additions of actions to be taken against the culprits if the country
was to have free and fair elections.
“ECZ needs to be brought into the picture as well in terms of commitment to enforcing the law without fear of any party. They must be given powers to deal firmly with any party that errs. As things stand now, ECZ takes long to act when it is the ruling party that is in the wrong,” Sinkamba said.
He said guaranteeing safety of all stakeholders in the electoral process was another critical issue
which his party felt needed to be addressed.
“There is need to entrench and respect the rights of citizens. We have situations where the police
can cancel rallies at the last minute and some people are not even aware that the rally has been
cancelled. This could lead to loss of life like what recently happened in Lusaka. We think that in terms of cancellation, there must be a number of days in which it should be done so that political heads can inform their cadres in advance. We know the police have the capabilities but only that they have been
politicised,” Sinkamba said.
He said it did not make sense for political parties to be meeting regularly to agree on accords, which are never implemented.
“We are very committed to peace but what we are saying is that whatever we sign must be implemented. We have had three meetings in which same issues were discussed but nothing has
worked out,” said Sinkamba.

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