UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says violence must not find room in Zambia.
And the Human Rights Commission says any form of violence should not be tolerated or misconstrued as a legitimate form of political activism or support.
Commenting on PF cadres’ attack on National Democratic Congress members at Levy Mall in Lusaka yesterday where they went to offer solidarity to their leader Chishimba Kambwili who was summoned by police, Hichilema sympathised with the newly formed opposition party and urged them to remain strong amidst provocation.
“We would like to condemn in the strongest terms the violent attacks by known Patriotic Front cadres on the members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Lusaka this morning. Our country has already experienced enough bloodshed and we cannot continue witnessing such behaviour in full view of the police. Violence must not have room in our country’s governance and as such all well-meaning Zambians must condemn the PF for these uncivilised politics that they continue to practice,” Hichilema said.
“We sympathise with the NDC members who were hacked…and we would like to encourage the Roan Member of Parliament, Hon. Chishimba Kambwili to remain strong even amidst such inhuman treatment. We call on the country to join hands and end politics of violence and this must be done by telling PF leaders to stop violence with immediate effect. This violence is coming from the top PF office, this is why there is impunity which has never been seen before.”
He said Zambia needed issue-based politics and not intimidation by those who claimed to be in charge of the nation.
“This country has no one in control, people are surviving by the grace of God. If there was someone in charge, people would not be killed and maimed in broad daylight by fellow citizens,” said Hichilema. “If there was ever a time for the police to rise above partisan politics, it is now. The police must not fall prey to abuse by greedy politicians who want to settle personal political scores. We have for a long time now been stating that the PF has no plan for our country other than violence, corruption and dictatorship and now we are being vindicated. This is the police that will charge a victim and not the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. This has happened to NDC members.”
And chairperson Mudford Mwandenga has condemned the assault on National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters by suspected political opponents at Lusaka Central Police Station on Tuesday where they had escorted Chishimba Kambwili who was summoned by the Zambia Police Service.
He stated that the HRC was deeply concerned at the emerging pattern of violence against NDC supporters.
“The nation may recall that NDC members were recently attacked as they were about to appear on a radio station in Lusaka. Acts of political intolerance should be condemned as they are a violation of human rights, which every democratic country should endeavour to promote and protect. Violence against any individual is a criminal act and the Commission appeals to the Zambia Police Service to act without fear or favour in ensuring that culprits are brought to book in order to end impunity,” Mwandenga stated.
He stated that any form of violence should not be tolerated or misconstrued as a legitimate form of political activism or support.
Mwandenga stated that there was need for the Zambia Police Service to send a clear message to all perpetrators that violence was a criminal offence and thus any person committing or suspected of committing such an offence should be arrested and prosecuted in the courts of law.
“The Commission believes that it is within the powers and means of the Zambia Police Service to decisively deal with such criminal behaviour. The Commission wishes to also urge all political party leaders to provide guidance to, and instil discipline among their members or supporters to refrain from any unlawful conduct or any such behaviour that may contribute to violation of human rights and freedoms,” stated Mwandenga.