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Zambia Bans Main Opposition's Campaigns Following Deadly Clash

Zambia Bans Main Opposition's Campaigns Following Deadly Clash
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Zambia's electoral commission has banned the United Party for National Development from campaigning in the Kanyama township. For Daybreak Africa, VOA's Peter Clottey spoke to UPND spokesperson Thabo Kawana about the fallout after two people were killed in a clash between opposing parties.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia has banned the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) alliance from campaigning in Kanyama Constituency - - its stronghold in the capital, Lusaka. This, after two supporters of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) were killed following clashes with partisans of the UPND alliance. So far, the police have arrested four suspects while investigations continue into circumstances that led to the clashes. Meanwhile, incumbent President Edgar Lungu has deployed the military in parts of Lusaka including the Kanyama constituency to help the police maintain law and order and to prevent additional violence.

But Thabo Kawana, spokesperson for the UPND alliance, says the one of the two people killed was a member of his party. He also says the deployment of the military clearly shows that the president lacks confidence in the ability of the police to maintain peace during election season. Analysts say the political situation is tense in Lusaka and other parts of the country due to what they anticipate on August 12 to be one of the most competitive presidential elections in the country's history. Responding to the campaign ban imposed by the electoral commission Thabo Kawana tells VOA's Peter Clottey that the punitive action taken against his group is unfair. He says the move shows the bias of the electoral body which he accuses of working to favor the ruling party ahead of the vote.