African Union [AU] observers in Zambia’s presidential election that held on Thursday, August 12, have stated that there exists considerable tension throughout the Southern African country despite having completed the polls that will produce the country’s next president.
The AU also confirmed the existence of considerable animosity between president Edgar Lungu of Patriotic Front (PF) and the opposition figure Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND).
“The mission can confirm that the 2021 general election held against a backdrop of increasing friction between the two foremost political parties,” former Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai who led the AU’s mission to Zambia stated.
A string of violence erupted in the North-West of Zambia, a region considered to be Hakainde Hichilema’s stronghold, claiming the lives of two people including that of the ruling party’s chairman in the region, according to President Edgar Lungu.
The AU mission blamed the tensed political atmosphere on the media, saying that it had not properly informed the people.
The AU mission insisted that the media in Zambia is particularly polarised towards party lines, saying that there was misinformation during the campaign period
Results for Thursday’s election are expected by the end of Sunday, August 15.
The election is expected to be the most keenly contested election between the two familiar rivals: President Edgar Lungu and his eternal rival Hakainde Hichilema.