NATIONAL Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister Reverend Godfridah Sumaili has condemned political violence and the failure to respect divergent views in the country.
In an interview, Rev Sumaili said political violence cannot be allowed to continue.
Over the weekend, suspected PF cadres attacked UPND Chilanga aspiring MP Charmaine Musonda and two other UPND members, while musician Brian Bweembya, popularly known as B-Flow was also attacked by PF cadres at Government Complex after an event.
“I also want to say that I also saw something yesterday in the newspapers of some PF cadres who were also attacked. What I want to say is that we cannot allow this kind of situation in our country. We can’t allow and we condone violence by anybody, violence is violence, it needs to be condemned in the strongest terms. We condemn violence, any form of violence in the highest, it can be physical, it can be verbal, emotional, whatever it is, let us fight against it. I want to encourage the media to constantly get involved so that there is peace in the nation. So the way you present messages to the people of Zambia is very important,” Sumaili said.
“As a Ministry, we are very very committed to ensure that we promote the national values and principles. One of the values is national unity, patriotism and peace. We cannot see development in our nation if there is no peace. We have a number of programmes that we have been doing, I am sure you have seen me traveling all over, meeting traditional leaders and meeting church leaders, meeting political locals from different political parties to just speak the word of peace. Last week Friday we had a meeting with the church mother bodies to just again emphasize that they also must come in and speak peace to the people of Zambia, to ensure that there is unity.”
Rev Sumaili said her ministry would soon hold a meeting with youths from all political parties to discuss peace and the importance of respecting divergent views in politics.
“We are at the moment organizing a meeting for youths coming from different political parties, so that we can sit down and talk to each other and determine a Zambia that we want. The meeting will be about promoting peace, no violence, respecting one another but also allowing people to speak their views. Respecting each other’s views is very important,” said Rev Sumaili.
“It is unfortunate that Bill 10 which was supposed to ensure that the public order act is actually amended, it didn’t go through. But notwithstanding what we want to do, if there is anything that we can do to ensure that everyone has a chance we should do that. We hope no one will stay away, that all political parties are there and we want to see the youths themselves discussing these issues together.”