PF Lusaka Province vice youth chairperson Kelvin Kaunda says there is need for all political parties to find solutions to the gassing incidences instead of finger pointing.

And Kaunda says police’s decision to grant UNZA students a permit for a peaceful protest is ill-timed.

In an interview, Kaunda said there was no need to gain political mileage from the gassing happening in the country when lives were being lost.

“I am inviting all colleagues from the UPND, NDC, MMD and DP…that the challenge of gassing is not a challenge for PF neither is it a challenge for UPND. It is a challenge of Zambia, it is challenge that all of us must be able to come together and reason together and address the a challenge of our time as brothers and sisters. Finger pointing will not in any way help us to resolve the challenge at hand. And there is no need for any political party to gain political mileage out of this because the people who are suffering the consequences have nothing to do with politics. What political mileage will one gain where private properties are looted? What political mileage will one gain where lives are being taken away on mere suspicions? I want to invite all political parties in this country that let us put our political differences aside and for once come to a common table of reason and be able to share ideas on how best we can address the challenges of our time. The people who are gassing in the community are not asking whether one is PF, UPND or MMD and the children who are being gassed, what politics are they involved in? And yet they are suffering innocently,” Kaunda said.

“If the opposition have solutions to the challenge of gassing, let them come to the table and share with us. We are extending an olive branch to our colleagues in the opposition to come and let us reason together because that which unites us as citizens of this country is far much better than that which divides us. And we can’t afford facing this challenge of the day as a divided people. If there is a time when we need to demonstrate leadership, now is the time. We know for a fact that the criminals have taken advantage of this gassing incidences to destroy property. Even if the opposition was to take over government today, where will they get the resources to start reconstructing? We don’t have that kind of resources,”

And Kaunda, who is also Mwembeshi Ward 24 councilor, said he found the decision to grant UNZA students a permit to demonstrate strange, in light of the tension that was going on in the country.

“While I am not competent enough to question the decision by the police to grant UNZA students with a police permit to demonstrate, I strongly feel as a citizen of this country that the timing is wrong. Given what we have seen and experienced in the past, what one would expect is that the police will move to another level where they will begin to discourage any small groupings. I can only hope that the permit given to the students will indeed turn out to be a peaceful demonstration as indicated on the permit. If I was given an opportunity, I think my position would be that given the status quo and the tension, I find the decision by the police command extremely strange. One would have hoped that this demonstration would have been deferred. Not to say that we don’t want them to exercise their freedom of expression no, except that the safety and well-being of our people reigns supreme,” said Kaunda.