ZAMBIA must not permit its 2011 elections to be marred by political violence, as happened in other African countries, a Jesuit who served there for 20 years has said.
Fr Peter Henriot, outgoing director of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection in Lusaka, said Zambians must ensure that their general elections are held freely and transparently. He said that means ensuring fairness in the period leading up to the election.
“That means the media should cover all political parties,” he said. “Secondly, those civic authorities, the police and election officials must also treat all parties equally.” He said elections should not be seen as a technical exercise but as a reflection of the values of the nation.
“Elections are a matter of what kind of country we want to see in the future. You know a lot of people envied Zambians. We have had ups and downs, but we are not the Ivory Coast, we are not Zimbabwe or Kenya, and we should not be,” said Fr Henriot.