The Scoop Editorial: November 9, 2022

A COMPLETE stop to these pockets of violence perpetuated by ruling party cadres must be effected but if the rank and file of the party fails to stop it and continue issuing empty statements that it does not condone violence yet such sentiments are not backed by action, it will have itself to blame.

No political party sets out as a violent entity; not even the PF under Michael Sata but little by little, violence started manifesting itself until we saw coffins flying around Lusaka during Wynter Kabimba’s time as Secretary General.

From being a party issue, it graduated into complete political metamorphosis where every citizen became a potential victim of the ruthless PF violence and brutality where whoever who did not agree with them was to be put to the sword.

Within no time, certain public places such as markets and bus stations became no-go areas for people believed to belong to the opposition. These shenanigans did not end there. They went as far as terrorising civil servants who they believed supported the opposition.

They simply became a battalion of uncontrollable; unstoppable, and unquestionable characters. They became a law unto themselves and could do whatever they wanted with impunity. What added fuel to this terror was either the graveyard silence from their leaders including Edgar Lungu himself, or the outright defence from the party that they were not their members.

In some instances, some media houses that supported and are still supporting the PF rubbish in exchange for money churned out propaganda that actually, it was these barbarians who were at the receiving end of violence from the opposition.

They were systematically and fervently defended but when Zambians had enough, they showed who the real boss was by voting the PF out and they did so mercilessly. The PF tried all the rigging tactics but failed because citizens had enough.

Today, the same thing is happening in the UPND. Even when the President himself has said he will not condone violence, the UPND members are all over doing the opposite. A lot has happened recently which should be a sign of shame but no one is bold enough to act according to what the President has directed.

It is only Garry Nkombo in his capacity as a Minister who has tried to bring sanity after those ugly scenes in Kafue where the UPND were at each other’s throat trying to maim each other for reasons best known to themselves.

We now have the case of the Mazabuka Mayor being clobbered by people from his own political party and instead of just issuing empty statements, we expected action from the ruling party. As much as this is a police case, Zambians want to see decisive action being taken on erring members of the ruling party to serve as deterrent to would-be offenders.

It can’t be business as usual when ruling party members are misbehaving. Zambians ascribed to a country where the rule of law thrives and where political violence is a thing of the past and those who are opposed to these must be suspended or expelled from the party before they make the party lose power.

PF had people like Francis Muchemwa, Eddie Gowa, Innocent Kalimanshi, Chile 1, among others who rained terror on the opposition but where are they today? Chile 1 himself made HH escape from the roof top of the radio station on the Copperbelt but how was his end?

These cadres actually contributed to the downfall of the PF but is that the path UPND wants to take? For how long will these cadres continue with this mischief and leaders continue issuing statements not backed by action?

Yes, we agree that political violence, like mist, has vanished, but these few retrogressive acts, if not dealt with decisively and stopped, will have a knock-on effect on the peace and freedom that the UPND Government has restored. Advice ni mahala!

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