RAINBOW party general secretary Wynter Kabaimba says the PF cadres who have been storming radio stations to disrupt UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s programmes are most likely sponsored by senior party officials.
And Kabimba has asked the church to foster dialogue between political parties in order to promote respect for divergent views.
In an interview, Kabimba said Muchinga Province was too small for police to fail to identify suspects.
“Those incidents are actually unfortunate. It happened to me in 2015 when I was in Eastern Province and very often, those cadres are actually sponsored by very senior members of the party. So they are not doing that on their own, and that is what makes those incidences unfortunate, that as we proclaim ourselves to be a democracy and a Christian nation, the activities of the ruling party walk in a different direction. My own view just to confirm what I am saying is that when you look at those places in Muchinga Province like Isoka, those are very small places in terms of population and police stations are within proximity. So it is not enough for the Chief Government Spokesperson to purportedly condemn those actions without telling the nation that the culprits involved have been arrested,” Kabimba Said.
“I find it unbelievable and that’s what makes me say that those cadres have the backing of senior members of the party and hence their impunity. So they are acting with that sense of arrogance and impunity because they know that nothing will happen to them in terms of being brought to account for their actions.”
Kabimba said PF was taking the country backwards in terms of democracy.
“PF is taking us backwards to the UNIP era, a regime that the Zambian people rose against, fought so hard and risked their lives for in order to bring about a democratic environment and it’s a pity that more than 20 years later, we must be going backwards instead of going forward. PF is cultivating an environment of intimidation, of harassment, violence, which is purely against their own principles which they enshrined in the Constitution Amendment Act number two of 2016. So my demand really is that the suspected cadres involved must be arrested and arrested immediately because I know that they are known to members of the community. If they are not arrested, it will go to confirm that those cadres have the backing of senior officials in PF,” he said.
And Kabimba asked the church to be encouraging intra-party dialogue.
“Not that I am being pessimistic, but charity must begin within the political parties. You saw the violence that occurred within PF during their elections, so they are not only exporting this violence, it is also intra-party violence. So if it can happen within PF itself, why would they fail to export that violence and the culture of intimidation to other citizens? So the church must be calling on leaders of political parties to curb this violence within political their parties to cultivate a culture of tolerance of views within political parties, to cultivate a culture of mutual respect within political parties,” said Kabimba.
“That’s what we’ve done in the Rainbow Party; we have enshrined this in our party Constitution. We have said that there must be a practice of mutual respect amongst members of the Rainbow Party and also that members of our party must respect members of other political parties and citizens who may not belong to a political party. I have always said that there is no need for youths in political parties to be clad in militia type of uniforms, there is no need. This is not South Sudan, we are not war. This is a democracy, youths must be looking smart, dressed in outfits which project them as good human beings. But if you are going to give them berets then you are actually developing that kind of character in them and I have argued that there is no need.”