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Yes, the Mandevu independent candidate withdrew from the parliamentary race


Mr. Chibale, the Mandevu Independent Candidate withdrew from the Parliamentary race because of the acts of violence in Mandevu constituency

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Verified Aug, 11 2021


Zambia reports news website published an article stating that Mandevu constituency Independent candidate Mr Nicholas Chabala has withdrawn from the parliamentary election race. In a signed letter dated 21st July, 2021 to the Electoral Commission of Zambia, Mr Chabala said he decided to withdraw from the parliamentary elections scheduled for August 12, 2021. because he could no longer participate in an election where the playing field is so uneven that it favors a few candidates who are able to campaign freely and safely. He claimed that from the time he lodged his nomination on July 12, 2021, he had received threats targeting his life and his close associates. He stated that the unprecedented levels of electoral violence in the Constituency also contributed to his decision to withdraw from the race. He stated regret in the inconvenience the step would bring to the commission, supporters and the other stakeholders. However, according to him, he had no other option but to stand down.

Rating Justification

The fact finding process has established as true the claim by Mr Chabala that he had withdrawn his candidature for Mandevu Constituency, and his reasons for withdrawing. The iVerify team called Mr Chabala on 28th July 2021, and he confirmed withdrawing from the parliamentary race, and that his reasons in the letter addressed to ECZ dated 21st July 2021 still stood valid. He said the major reason for his withdrawal were the threats he received. Mr Chabala mentioned that the playing field was uneven and it favored a few candidates who were able to campaign freely and safely whilst disadvantaging others, inclusive of him. In responding to allegations made by Zambia Reports concerning political violence, Mr Chabala confirmed that there was indeed violence in Mandevu but he however did not state any political party inciting it. A further analysis by iVerify showed that various stakeholders such as the Patriots for Economic Progress Party (PEP) condemned the destruction of property and assault on innocent citizens caused by unsuspecting party members in Mandevu constituency in Lusaka. Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) Executive Director Boniface Cheembe also added that democratic processes premised on violence would not help Zambians make an informed decision in terms of which party to vote for and condemned the violence in Mandevu. In addition to this, Inspector General of police Mr Kakoma Kanganja stated that the police have time and again advised political parties to ensure that they conduct themselves peacefully and within the confines of the law during their public activities as well as when other political parties undertake their activities. In referring to an earlier incident that had occurred in Mandevu on 10th June, Mr Kanganja stated that what transpired in Mandevu Compound in Lusaka where suspected Patriotic Front cadres allegedly blocked some portions of the road with a view to disrupt the authorised procession of the UPND was criminal and would not be condoned. Similarly, the conduct of some UPND cadres who were alleged to have damaged motor vehicles during their roadshow was criminal and prosecutable. He therefore directed Lusaka Province Police Command to ensure that all those involved in the confusion and criminal acts during the UPND roadshow in Mandevu were arrested and prosecuted. These acts of violence as well as condemnations made by various stake holders, including the police correspond to Chabala’s claims that serve as the main reason for stepping back from the parliamentary race.

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