State House Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda says President Edgar Lungu has given Home Affairs Minister Steven Kampyongo strict instructions to ensure that political violence is never repeated in the forthcoming Bahati and Roan parliamentary by-elections.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the 2019 Youth Day celebration in Lusaka, Tuesday, Chanda said it was not Kampyongo’s responsibility to negotiate with trouble makers who were causing political violence.
“The President’s message to the youths countrywide is that they are too important to be used as tools of political violence. So on the part of the President and the youths of his political party is that he wants them to lead by example, and the test for them is that in parts where the Patriotic Front commands huge support, he wants to lead by example and show that it’s possible to conduct very competitive politics and at the same time, peaceful. So he wants no violence whatsoever in the elections in Bahati, in the elections in Roan, elections in Kafue and any other areas where we have local government elections,”
“Minister of Home Affairs Honourable Kampyongo is under very strict instructions to ensure that as chairperson for youth and national security in the party, the PF youths are peaceful and exemplary. And by extension, the youths participating in elections must be peaceful. Any deviant behaviour is not a matter of negotiation. The responsibility honourable Kampyongo has is not to negotiate with trouble makers, is not to seek compromise, is to ensure that every part of the Zambian soil is peaceful,” Chanda said.
And Chanda said President Lungu was expecting other political party leaders to instruct their youths to avoid violence.
“So the President is celebrating the achievement of the Zambian youths through attending the celebration of the youths, urging them to reflect deeply on the purpose they are in politics as youths. He is expectant that the message that he has sent through the party structures, through the SG, through the home affairs, has sunk within the rank and file of the PF,” Chanda said.
“But he also expects other political party leaders to do the same. But when he reaches out like this, it’s not like he is negotiating for people to be peaceful, the Police are there to maintain law and order, and this is his message. Have an introspection on the occasion of Youth Day, make the meaningful contribution, make yourself relevant and be ambassadors of peace, avoid insults, avoid antagonism, do not abuse social media.”
And Chanda said youth unemployment was always on President Lungu’s mind and that he had always been seeking solutions to ensure that more youths are employed.
“Youth unemployment is always top on the agenda of the President’s program. This is why every program that is there, whether it’s the program to escalate power generation through solar, agriculture, he is focusing on Agriculture, energy, tourism and all sectors of the economy, whatever they do when they create wealth, side by side there must be job creation. That is one of the most important items on the mind of the President,” said Chanda.