People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda says there is no commitment from the Head State to end political violence.
Meanwhile, Banda says the UPND must stop engaging in “provocative politics”.
Reacting to recent clashes between UPND and PF cadres, Banda observed that if President Edgar Lungu had protected the Sesheke cops who were fired after clobbering some ruling party officials, police officers would be acting professionally.
“We condemn violence! Violence is an indication of people’s lack of ideas and solutions. Like I have said before, these political parties are not going to be discussing political ideas, if they are not going to be arguing about how they are going to develop this country, their main focus is getting into power or keeping power by all means they are going to get involved in violence. So this issue of violence comes from the top, from the President himself. Because if the President had protected those Seheske cops, we would have seen that the police would be acting impartiality, but I think the President has failed to sort out this issue,” Banda said.
“Statements from State House are not enough to stop the violence. There has to be action, there has to be demonstration of the commitment to stop violence. Like I mentioned earlier, violence is an indication of lack of ideas, lack of solutions, lack of a vision of where political parties want to take this country.”
He said he understood that police had become toothless due to the difficult circumstances they found themselves in.
“The Police have been toothless! The only want to push the agenda of the PF. They don’t want to protect the citizens, they don’t want to protect every player in the political event. We do understand their challenges. We are very much aware of what happened in Sesheke where the President offered a directive to say the police should act without biases and the police tried to do that; the moment PF cadres were beaten, the police officers lost their jobs,” Banda said.
Banda said the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) missed an opportunity to stamp their authority by disqualifying violent parties during the Kaoma by-elections.
“The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has failed to tame these guys. Someone died in Kaoma no political party was disqualified. It was an opportunity to say enough is enough, someone has been killed during elections. What we need to do now is to ask and asking is to ensure that we terminate or we disqualify one political party that is involved in violence,” Banda said.
“This is a wake up call for the people of Zambia to say that in as much as we are going to tolerate this violence between two political parties, nothing is going happen, I mean their lives won’t change, even if they change, it will just be a change from green to red.”
Meanwhile, Banda urged the UPND to desist from practicing “provocative politics”.
“And we would also want to advise our friends in the opposition that they shouldn’t be provocative! People don’t want provocations! They should not act in a manner that disrupts other people’s lives. You cannot be moving around with a coffin in town just because the person died of political violence. I think the people of Zambia are looking for solutions oriented government after 2021 not a provocative government. I still want to believe 100 per cent if we can give solutions to the people of Zambia, we don’t need to be violent. What the people of Zambia want is solutions,” said Banda.