FORMER House of Chiefs chairperson Senior Chief Kaputa has bemoaned the lack of information in rural areas on the dangers of COVID-19.
And Chief Kaputa says there’s no need for people to fight each other just because they support different political parties.
In an interview, Wednesday, Chief Kaputa noted with concern the low levels of Covid-19 information dissemination activities among people living in rural areas.
He said with the outbreak of the third wave, more information needed to be disseminated on the dangers of the pandemic.
“This one is tricky because maybe for a start people in villages are not seeing the seriousness of this pandemic yet. In urban centres I think you can see the numbers increasing but in the rural areas, it is not everyone who is well informed on the seriousness of the COVID. When the pandemic started we very much participated in sensitising our people. We went all out from provincial centres to villages, talking to our headmen, sensitising them on the dangers of COVID-19,” he said.
“The stage we have reached where the third wave is claiming many lives, we will need to continue with what we have been doing especially through community radio stations, talking to them and letting them know the seriousness of this virus. By doing this they will be well informed and know what to do.”
And commenting on the political violence, Chief Kaputa said no political life needed to be lost at the expense of ushering someone into power.
He observed that much as it was difficult to talk to the political leaders, it was important that peace was maintained during the elections.
“We do have interest to ensure that there is no violence during this time of elections but the question would be are they willing to meet us in cities? In villages we can do that and talk to different parties involved but in places like Copperbelt, Lusaka, and Livingstone it’s difficult, that’s where the problem is. We can go on air to talk about violence but are you sure people will be listening in. The need is there to tell our children that there is no need whatsoever to be involved in violence when campaigning,” he said.
“It would be very stupid of people to start fighting just because you support different teams. It would be very foolish to do that. When people belong to different parties, there is no reason to start fighting. We join parties at our own will, no one tells us to join parties by force but we join for whatever reason. People therefore must be encouraged to desist from violence.”
He further advised the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to extend the suspension period if the affected political parties continued misbehaving.
“The suspension is to make people understand that when you resort to violence it doesn’t pay. We don’t want to be shedding blood because of politics. There are better things that can improve your life than engaging yourselves in political violence. I support what ECZ did and hope they stick to their word and when things turn out to be okay then they can allow parties to continue campaigning because you know campaigning is part of elections,” said Chief Kaputa.
“If they don’t want to learn, why allow them to go back to the streets and continue to fight and kill each other. We don’t want to lose any single life just because of politics, no! The reason for politics is to get into governance and not getting into funerals.”