See also:
» 08.03.2011 - Zambia President "to win" upcoming polls
» 05.11.2008 - Zambia electoral body to verify disputed polls
» 03.11.2008 - Banda sworn in as new Zambian president
» 24.10.2008 - Banda calls for calm in Zambia's fourth presidential polls
» 23.10.2008 - SADC launches observer mission to Zambia's election
» 25.09.2008 - Zambia calls off live radio phone-in programmes
» 19.09.2008 - Banda to keep economic policies
» 10.09.2008 - Zambia announces election date

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Zambia's vice president warns of violence ahead of polls

afrol News, 29 October - Zambia's acting president Rupiah Banda has warned against violent acts to disrupt presidential elections tomorrow in his final campaign rally today.

Mr Banda, and his main opposition rival, Michael Sata, drew thousands of supporters ahead of polls in capital Lusaka, with each hoping to succeed late president Levy Mwanawasa who died in August after suffering a stroke.

According to local media reports, police are on high alert ahead of Thursday's election, with Mr Banda having declared that he would not allow any disruption to voting process.

Mr Banda promised to follow in the footsteps of late president Mwanawasa who won plaudits in West for his economic record and willingness to criticise president Robert Mugabe in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Mr Sata, of opposition Patriotic Front, has vowed to transform Zambia within 90 days of taking office by forcing foreign firms to hand over 25% stakes to local investors. He also plans to embark on a social spending programme to provide better jobs and housing.

"There is money for all of you. You have money which they are wasting on other things. That money will come to you," he said.

Mr Sata who has frequently accused authorities of planning to rig vote in favour of Banda, has already announced that he will not accept the result if he loses.

He also claimed to have been robbed of victory in the last election in 2006 although he declined to pursue his case before the courts.

Mr Sata is described as a populist, with his nickname is King Cobra because of his biting criticism of government's alleged failure to end widespread poverty, was beaten to second position by in 2006.

The winner will serve until 2011 - when Mr Mwanawasa's term would have ended.

About 3,9-million people are registered to cast ballots when the polls open at 6.00am on Thursday.

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