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Wed May 26, 2021, 09:21 AM

Zambian president bans campaign rallies to stem COVID-19 spread

Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Wednesday banned campaign rallies ahead of elections scheduled for Aug. 12, saying large gatherings risked spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Lungu, a lawyer, is pitted against economist Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND), whom he narrowly beat in the 2016 elections.

Zambia, Africa's no.2 copper producer, is the grips of an economic crisis after it failed to make payment of a coupon on one of its dollar bonds in November, dragging it into sovereign default.

Opposition parties have pilloried Lungu's handling of the crisis. Last year, police shot dead two people after the main opposition party leader was summoned for police questioning over a decade-and-a-half old fraud allegation.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/zambian-president-bans-campaign-rallies-stem-covid-19-spread-2021-05-26/

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