NEVERS Mumba says political violence will only be stopped if the Electoral Commission of Zambia disqualifies either PF or UPND from the 2021 elections.
“If they go that far then they are cutting violence right in the middle because they will realise that violence does not pay; because all this is about winning the election,” Mumba, the MMD presidential candidate said on Hot FM’s hot seat programme on Tuesday.
He said today Zambia was like a vehicle without breaks, heading downhill at a very fast speed and cannot be stopped.
“This vehicle is headed towards August 12 to crash there because the violence that has started in Zambia has not started today; this has been watered over the years since PF came into government,” Mumba said. “They found partners in UPND to spar against each other. When we spoke that time, it appeared as though we were just politically irrelevant but it has gone down in history to say that those political parties that are fighting and involved in violence are the lead political parties and are the most formidable and are the ones close to winning the election and that’s why they fight. That’s why they kill each other and that’s why they shed blood. So there is an acceptance of the fact that the more violent you are, the more relevant you are politically.”
Mumba did not believe the violence obtaining now would end before elections.
He predicted that the violence would accelerate and get worse because neither PF nor the UPND was willing to tell their cadres to stop violence because they need this ferocity to remain politically viable.
“None of the two presidents is coming out in the open and emphatically saying the police should arrest everybody and everyone. We want to hear more of those voices. There are many things that can be done. First of all, the two of them or all presidential candidates should come together and in uniform manner make a statement to the nation that today we declare a ceasefire and there shall be no violence,” he urged. “And if there is any sign of violence, the police must move in at full speed and make a demonstration on all those perpetuating violence publicly irrespective of political affiliation.”
Mumba said violence had continued because police had not been fair referees.
He said if the police were fair referees, the violence would by now have been quelled.
He said he had been in campaigns where if police found two people from the opposition and ruling party fighting, they arrested the opposition person.
Mumba said the police knew that these political parties had militia groups who were praised by political leaders.
“You have people called the Americans, you have people called many names and nobody does anything until today the American Embassy is concerned about the use of the American flag in political violence,” he noted. “These are militia groups that are known to the police, known to the political leaders that they exist but nobody is doing anything about it because they…politically UPND and PF need violence to make it. I can tell you; PF and UPND will not stop this violence. They don’t have the power, it’s like a spirit now which has been watered for so long and it’s part of their network and have no power over it even if President Lungu made that statement, even if HH made that statement. They need to do more than that because it’s a spirit. A spirit is invisible, it’s now in the blood of all those political people that are fighting for this power.”
Mumba said the health and life of Zambians was more important than even him becoming President.
He said as a show of responsibility, in the advent of the COVID-19, his party was the first to declare that it would not hold public rallies.
Mumba said Zambians need to have the opportunity to choose their President but this should not be done at the cost of innocent lives because of negligence and lack of responsibility.