Zambian government held national prayers on July 24, 2016 in the capital Lusaka over escalating electoral violence ahead of the vote on August 11, 2016.
The country’s incumbent leader Edgar Lungu and Independence president Kenneth Kaunda led hundreds of Lusaka residents to the prayers.
Zambia last year called national prayers over its then troubled currency, the Kwacha.
The southern African country of 14.5million people has witnessed a wave of violence before the elections which was blamed on two major contenders, the governing Patriotic Front(PF) and the main opposition United Party for National Development(UPND).
“Let’s all unite and aspire for peace, peace that transcends colour, tribe or political affiliation, “the 59-year-old president told congregants from various churches.
“Zambia is bigger than any of us politicians.”
President Lungu called for tolerance, sobriety and the need to avoid hate speech in campaign messages.
Tensions were high as opposition parties claim they have been treated unfairly by state organs.
An opposition supporter was shot two weeks ago as the party protested Zambia Police decision to cancel their rally.
Clashes between UPND and PF have been frequently reported in the local media.
President Lungu is facing Hakainde Hichilema of the UPND, who is campaigning on the promise of rebuilding the country’s economy.
About 6.4million people are expected to vote and there has been a dispute over the alleged registration of foreigners on the voter’s roll, an allegation the electoral body denies.
Zambia has had relative smooth power transitions.