About seven million Zambians will head to the polls this Thursday to elect the country’s president for the next five years, with wealthy Lusaka businessman Hakainde Hichilema and his United Party for National Development (UPND) expected in pole position ahead of the PF which, apart from struggling with flagging public support, also suffers fractious internal organisation blamed on secretary general Davies Mwila.
Zambia has a strong history of holding peaceful elections; but years of systematic arming of PF supporters – mostly young people in expansive slums of key cities who galvanise under the guise of party internal security – coupled with the UPND’s reciprocal approach, has heightened political tension ahead of this year’s polls: flashes and pockets of violence are now not uncommon.
Two youthful PF supporters were gruesomely killed in the sprawling Kanyama area, west of Lusaka, when
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