If Edgar Lungu was opposed to the political violence being perpetrated by Patriotic Front cadres, it wouldn’t be there.
The truth is Edgar and his minions are beneficiaries of this violence. They are the ones funding and promoting it. For what? To silence their opponents.
This is why Edgar has surrounded himself with the most violent elements. If Edgar wanted to end violence he wouldn’t have a person like Stephen Kampyongo as home affairs minister. Wherever Kampyongo is or has a political interest, there’s always violence. Who doesn’t know Bowman Lusambo’s background and violent political methods?
The truth is Edgar assumed the leadership of the Patriotic Front and eventually that of the country on the back of violence and with the help of the most violent elements like the late Willie Nsanda.
Can Edgar abandon violence? No. If he abandoned political violence that would be the end of him politically.
And Our Civic Duty Association management committee chairperson Gilbert Temba is right when he says the current incidents of political violence in the country were primarily being triggered and fueled by statements from senior Patriotic Front leaders, including individuals with public authority such as members of parliament, ministers and even higher ranking officials in government.
“This is extremely saddening in that the party in government, who should be the first to lead by example and denounce and curtail political violence, is at the forefront of instigating acts of violence. Much more worrying, this is happening so close to next year’s general elections; virtually signaling a bloody forthcoming election,” says Temba. “OCIDA wishes to condemn in strongest terms a recent presidential directive to the Minister of Home Affairs, to deal with anyone protesting. This has been further echoed by the Inspector General of Police [Kakoma Kanganja], who obviously is perceived to be following the minister’s orders. In tandem, the Lusaka Province minister [Bowman Lusambo] also echoed and banned any protests, which led to our young people running into the bush to express their grievances, in fear of the armed police in armored vehicles who were sent by the Inspector General of the Police, to deal with these unarmed and harmless children. Very sadly even the respectable Republican Vice-President [Inonge Wina] has added fuel to the fire by imploring the people of Zambia to support Bill 10 if they want the police to start arresting PF cadres who were perpetuating violence. We further question why the police have consistently failed to firmly deal with the PF cadres who terrorise innocent citizens with most despicable behaviour such as brandishing machetes and pangas in public, and why the law is being applied selectively in this regard.”
Edgar and his minions are permanently wedded to violence and cannot politically survive without it.