CIVIL society activist Lewis Mwape has told President Edgar Lungu that time to act in the best interest of the citizens is now as solutions to political violence lay in his hands.
And Mwape says continuous militarization of political events may lead to civil war.
Despite pledging peaceful campaigns in the Chilanga parliamentary by-election, suspected ruling Patriotic Front cadres on Sunday attacked UPND’s candidate Charmaine Musonda and her team, leaving others injured. However, the Patriotic Front issued a statement distancing itself from the violence, arguing that the UPND were the ones agitating violence in the area through its “panga for panga” statement earlier made by vice president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba. PF cadres yesterday even reported GBM to the police for inciting violence. Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja on Sunday night issued a statement that an identification parade would be held for those involved in the attacks on the UPND team. But Mwape, who is executive director of the Zambia Council for Social Dialogue, has blamed President Lungu for not bringing to a stop the political violence perpetuated by the PF and UPND cadres in the ongoing campaigns for the Chilanga by-election.
“Militarisation of political events and campaigns can only be curbed or stopped by an impartial police service which is one of the wings or
departments of government. This is where His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has failed. I know he is a political cadre but he must also know that he is the Republican President who has been sworn to protect the Republican constitution and not just the PF constitution in which possibly violence might have been provided for. President Lungu is a Commander in Chief! If a president fails to deal with the political violence, how do you expect that President to defend the country in case of war against his people? Personally, I see solutions resting in my ‘Humble President’ if he doesn’t act, we perish,” Mwape stated.
He reiterated that it was government’s main role to safeguard and protect its citizens’ lives as enshrined in the Constitution.
“So let us apportion the blame on our beloved President, HE Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu for failure to ACT in the interest of the citizens. Those being axed are Zambians, whether from PF or UPND? This is very important for my president to think about. A responsible Republican president would not say – Babakanda ba UPND or yaah my boys (PF) have been hammered; No my President [Edgar Lungu]. You have so much power which the Zambian people have given to you; defend them, protect them, and protect us. For now, forget about GBM or HH
or CK. These are citizens who also need safety and state protection,” stated Mwape.