The PF and UPND have signed yet another peace accord aimed at ending political violence between the two party rivals during and after elections.
Last Friday, the Electoral Commission of Zambia brought together the ruling Patriotic Front and the opposition United Party for National Development to sign a peace deal aimed at ending political violence and bringing harmony.
The rival parties have, however, signed another peace accord, this time vowing to come up with a steering committee and create a road map to ensure that all members adhere to the agreed rules and regulations.
Reading the communiqué on behalf of the parties, PF deputy media director Antonio Mwanza said following deliberations, the parties had agreed to depoliticise markets and profile the people affected, among several other resolutions, to stem the growing tide of political violence, especially in hotly-disputed election-related areas.
“First of all, after the deliberations, both leaderships from the PF and UPND agreed as follows: Number one; that they will be a steering committee that will be constituted immediately to spearhead the process of ending political violence, and it is the steering committee that will be carrying out both activities and coming up with a road map to end political violence. That steering committee will be made up of leadership from both the PF and UPND and they will be giving us activities that we will be carrying out. Number two; it has been resolved that there will be depoliticisation of all markets and bus stations. So, a process of making sure that we remove politics away from markets and bus stations will start now in conjunction with the Minister of Local Government and the councils across the country so that we allow our people from both political parties to trade and do business without any interference,” Mwanza said.
“It has also been agreed as part of the resolution that if there are people that have been affected or moved from the markets or the bus stops on account of their political affiliation, those shall be profiled and a system will be put in place to make sure that all our people from both political parties who have been victimised from the markets and bus stops are brought back to the bus stops and allowed to trade freely as Zambians. It has also been agreed that [those] being incarcerated for various reasons, others for criminal activities as alleged, others for petty political activities; it has been agreed that there will be a general amnesty given to all those who have been incarcerated on petty political squabbles. And that the system will be out in place to make sure that these other cases are expedited. Both political parties have been told to profile the people that have been affected in various cells across the country to make sure that we have a resolution amicably, and remove those that have been incarcerated on petty political squabbles. And the general amnesty shall be given in line with the Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Justice and the political players working together to find an amicable solution.”
He said the parties had agreed to carry out social and political activities to ease the tensions that had been created.
“It has also been agreed as a resolution that both political parties will carry out social and political activities to make sure that we bring our people together and that these meetings shall be accelerated from the national level up to the ward level so that our leaders from both political parties from the ward up to the national level should be on the same page. So, there will be a lot of political and social activities. Both PF and UPND will be engaging themselves to ease the tension. It has also been resolved that both political parties must discipline their youths to make sure that there is order and observance of the rule of law. It has also been agreed that both political parties must make the work of the police and the media easy by making sure that we all abide by the set rules and regulations. It has also been resolved that there will be no deployment of cadres from one place to the other. If there is a by-election as it is in Chilanga, it has been resolved that youths from other parts, which are not part of Chilanga, will not be exported or imported to Chilanga. Political parties must make sure that they use the structures from wherever they are to conduct elections,” said Mwanza.
“…Because it has been observed that that has been a source of violence. It has also been agreed as a resolution that there will be demilitarising of our youths. And it has also been agreed that the language that we use as leaders must be civil and must be palatable. It has also been agreed that we shall commit ourselves in making sure that there is a programme of implementation of all the resolutions that we have stated here so that this does not start here and end here, but that it continues as a way of life.”
The parties were represented by UPND deputy national chairperson Munji Habeenzu and PF national youth chairperson Stephen Kampyongo. PF Secretary General Davies Mwila was also present.