THE Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) executive director Engwase Mwale says the lack of decisive action by political leaders to end political violence in the country is saddening.

In a statement, Mwale noted that the attack on Chilanga UPND aspiring candidate Charmaine Musonda by suspected PF cadres was a drawback with regards to women participation in politics.

“The attack on Ms. Musonda and indeed many other women in politics is not only barbaric but criminal and is a serious draw back with regard to women’s political leadership. NGOCC is appalled by the continued perpetuation of violence by political cadres and indeed any political players exhibiting such thuggery tendencies. It is very disheartening that such acts of politically motivated violence against women continue to manifest in a democratic dispensation and Christian Nation. The women of Zambia are saddened at the lack of decisive action by our political leaders to end such a vice and we shudder to think of how the situation will turn out during the run up to the 12th August 2021 General Elections,” Mwale stated.

Mwale further urged political parties to take a strong position on violence and root out the retrogressive form of cadreism that she said had engulfed the country’s political space.

“NGOCC therefore calls upon the Zambia Police to be on high alert to curb any political violence ahead of the 2021 General Elections and to immediately bring all perpetrators to book in a non -selective way. We are also calling upon all political parties to take a strong position and condemn violence in all its forms including rooting out this retrogressive form of cadreism that has engulfed our political space. Violence has no place in modern politics and violence against one woman is violation of all women. It is also a given fact that violence anywhere will never build societies. The aspiration of the Zambian citizens in political governance is about the promotion of peace and unity in diversity and ultimately development for all,” she added.

She reiterated the need for the police to take up their position and protect citizens without fear or favour.

“We wish to reiterate the need for the Zambia Police Service to take up their position and offer the needed protection to all citizens without fear of favour. It is NGOCC’s expectation that the Police will embrace the fact that participation in the political arena is every citizen’s right and therefore must be a place of civility and tolerance to divergent views. Over the years, NGOCC has been concerned with the increased incidences of political violence especially against women and the youth as it negatively affects women’s effective participation in politics,” stated Mwale.