The intraparty violence that rocked the Patriotic Front during its Youth Day celebrations deserve the strongest condemnation.
Party youths clashed over alleged factions within the party. The clashes took place in full view of Edgar Lungu, the party’s supreme leader and President of the Republic of Zambia. Some youths were reportedly injured.
This lack of tolerance within the Patriotic Front is disturbing but not new. If they can attack each other in front of Edgar what can those in the opposition and critical civil society expect?
And there hasn’t been any strong condemnation of this violence from Edgar or any key leaders of the Patriotic Front. Why?
How can they be expected to condemn the same youths they send to violently attack their political opponents everywhere, including hotel conference rooms? They reward these youths for being brutish. If they condemn them today how are they going to send them to attack political opponents, tomorrow?
The truth is Edgar condones this violence because it is part of his political methods or doctrine – crushing those who try to stand in his way like a tonne of bricks!
We can actually fairly conclude that Patriotic Front youths are violent because their leader, Edgar, is violent and inspires them to violence.
Edgar’s violent politics pose a very serious threat to the prevalence of peace. Such acts of intolerance are not only detrimental to the prevalence of peace but also incite political opponents against each other, and if left unchecked, can degenerate into full blown incidences of violence.
It is very difficult to move Edgar away from violent politics because he came to power through intraparty violence, he reigns through violence and he wants to secure his third term through violence. Edgar doesn’t know peaceful politics. His politics are totally anchored on violence. And he can’t conceal his violent nature in his daily speeches. His language is always that of threats.
A violent leader will always have violent followers.
Edgar, as President of the Republic, is supposed to be a torch bearer in advocating peace and lead a crusade of condemning violence in any form.
But Edgar’s talk about peace is hypocritical and full of empty words. Edgar is the main promoter of political violence in this country. And political violence will not end as long as Edgar is president.