AS we head to the polls in August all political parties should do some in-house clean up so that we have issue based politics in our country instead of checking tags of which political party one belongs to, says Fr Emmanuel Chikoya.
The Council of Churches in Zambia general secretary said CCZ wanted to raise its voice on the behaviour by Patriotic Front cadres who last week stormed the Ministry of Works and Supply and audaciously harassed a female civil servant employed under the Transport and Control Unit on allegations that she supported the opposition UPND.
He said the action which was reported to have taken place on April 13 did not only sadden CCZ, but the nation at large.
“In the first place the story sounds too hard to be true and leaves a lot of questions hanging. How possible was it for ‘mere cadres’ to courageously walk through a government ministry and harass a government employee from inside her office?” he asked. “We, however, commend the Zambia Police for arresting Charles Kakula, the cadre who led his friends in harassing the female government employee. The quick action by the Zambia Police is highly commendable.”
Fr Chikoya told the men and women in uniform that their loyalty must be to the nation and not individuals.
“Their job is to be on high alert and bring all law breakers to book regardless of their political affiliation. This, if religiously done, will restore discipline to all those who want to undermine the laws of this country. Zambia is a democratic nation, and as such, every Zambian has a right to belong to any political party of their choice without feeling intimidated,” he said. “May we also emphasise that what happened at the Ministry of Works and Supply is just a tip of the iceberg. Cadres have, almost on a daily basis, been evicting people from markets, money booths and bus stations with impunity. Further, cadres aligned to the ruling party have been breaking road traffic rules with impunity every time they are on the road – driving vehicles without number plates or with their preferred political party symbol.”
Fr Chikoya said the train of misbehaviour seeks serious answers as to why law enforcement institutions such as the Zambia Police Service had been doing too little to apply the law accordingly.
“Notwithstanding the reluctance and slow response from the Zambia Police when it comes to enforcing the law on ruling party aligned cadres found wanting, we urge members of the public to report to relevant authorities every unlawful act by anyone, especially political cadres,” he said.
Fr Chikoya said political parties should also discipline their cadres to avoid agitating the peace that Zambia had enjoyed since independence in 1964.
He said peace should not be taken for granted.
“As we head to the polls in August, all political parties should do some in-house clean up so that we have issue based politics in our country instead of checking tags of which political party one belongs to,” said Fr Chikoya. “The Council of Churches in Zambia will continue to speak and encourage all Zambians to live in peace and love. Whether there is politics or not, we are all human beings created in the image of God. We must love one another and respect one another’s choices in life.”