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Friday 20/04/2018

Political violence and hypocrisy

Dear editor,
When some female PF cadres were reportedly beaten up by suspected UPND supporters in Monze East during a bye-election last week, the entire PF leadership including the President jumped on the bandwagon to condemn the violence in the strongest terms. The public media had a field day highlighting the scourge and portraying the opposition UPND as evil at every occasion. The Police service too was at hand to strongly warn the opposition.
But the nation knows too well that the root cause of political violence is the ruling party that not only perpetuates political violence purposefully but also shields its culpable cadres from arrest and prosecution. Examples of PF sponsored political violence are too many to be mentioned. The PF cadres pursued their UPND cadres at the burial site in Lusaka last year and assaulted them in full view of the Police who helplessly watched and did nothing. Not long ago, the notorious PF belligerents beat up NDC supporters and smashed their vehicles at a known Radio station in full view of the Police who once again did nothing. A PF minister assaulted an NDC consultant at the sacred parliament grounds but the Police failed to arrest the culprit despite the overwhelming evidence. The culprit was however censored and punished by the Speaker after he was found guilty. In all these incidents, the entire PF leadership either remained mute or only issued lukewarm condemnation remarks and the entire public media and the Police service pretended to go to sleep.
As long as the ruling political leadership remains hypocritical and only abhors violence when it is perpetuated by the opposition and continues to use the national Police service to institute selective justice, then this scourge will continue to be part of Zambia’s political dispensation. It must be stopped now so that it doesn’t turn ugly and escalate into a civil war!
Mwansa Shilapo

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