The Young African Leaders Initiative YALI has proposed a ten year jail sentence for perpetrators of political violence as a deterrent to would offenders.
YALI President Andrew Ntewewe has observed that stronger laws act as deterrents to certain crimes hence the need for an introduction of a Bill in Parliament by the Ministry of Home Affairs which would criminalise political violence.
He said despite having cases of defilement being reported the cases have significantly reduced because the public called for stronger laws and stiffer punishment for offenders adding that the same can be said about motor vehicle theft.
“First we want to remind you that when cases of defilement were at their highest in the country, our citizens called for a stronger law and stiffer punishment against those who defile young children. Yes, today we still have a good number of adults who commit this heinous act against children but the deterrent has been that legislation and its enforcement has made more people aware of the dangers of defiling children.
” As YALI we call on the Ministries of Youth and Sports as well as that of Home Affairs to take a Bill to Parliament which will criminalise political violence. We believe legislation has to be put in place that ensures that political violence is not treated as mere assault that occasions bodily harm but have its perpetrators face a longer jail term as those who defile children. We propose a minimum 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labour. We believe that a cadre who commits a crime should be treated like a mere criminal who should face the law regardless of political affiliation,” he said.
He added that his organization was sad that the enjoyment of the independence struggle was under threat due to political violence which has continued to rock the country’s modern politics.
Meanwhile British Ambassador to Zambia said there are a tiny minority who still believe that perpetrating political violence would persuade some people to vote for them or their party.
He called on the youths to report perpetrators of political violence to law enforcement agencies, the media, CSOs as well as their leaders whenever they see them saying “name them and shame them.”
Mr Ntewewe was speaking on the sidelines of a youth conference which is being held at Mika Lodge in Lusaka.
The two day youth conference which was organized by YALI as a prelude to Youth Day has participants from political party youth wings and students from institution of high learning and is meant to discourage youths from participating in political violence.