SACCORD says the PF is embarrassing the nation with its continued disregard of President Lungu’s pronouncements on political violence.
SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Cheembe said President Lungu should state who is in charge of his party as his directives on political violence have continued to be ignored by his followers.
He said his organization has noted that despite the many calls that President Lungu has publicly made regarding his Party’s members engaging in violence party lieutenants disregard his directives almost immediately the minute he finishes speaking by making their own violent pronouncements.
He said the situation is not only worrying but an embarrassment to the nation as no country will respect a country whose President can not be respected by his own followers.
“We have taken note of the many appeals that the head of state President Edgar Lungu has made in public on the need for his party members and other Zambians not to engage in political violence.He has made it clear that he would like to have peace prevail in the country but when he says that we get concerned that the next minute or day Party members belonging to the ruling Party make either violent pronouncement and/or engage in alleged political violence and what that tells us is that there is almost impunity within the ruling Party and that very few people listen to the President when it comes to issues of political violence.
“This is worrying because when you have a President who is supposed to be not only the father of the nation but also in the case of Zambia is the President of the ruling party he is supposed to be listened to but if what he says is contradicted by his juniors then we have a problem.If calls for us to maintain peace are to bring about any fruitful results then the President needs to be listened to and as long as we have a situation were by the President speaks and no body listens to him then we have a problem,” he said
He added “It does not send a very good message to outsiders, to observers who also want to ensure that Zambia continues to be an oasis of peace when the Head of State actually appeals for peace and then his followers engage in issues which are contrary to peace, issues that are violent in nature, issues that damage both private and public property, that injure people and issues that are a danger to the public safety of all Zambians.”
He said it was saddening that a party that should be leading by example was the one threatening serious violence against its opponents and that the President should quickly resolve the embarrassment the country is facing due to his political party.
“We believe that violence only breeds violence and you can’t of resolve any problem using violence and we find it very unfortunate that the ruling party which is supposed to lead by example is now supporting violence as a way of resolving whatever differences that they may have with other political parties.
“We want to appeal to the President that this very embarrassing situation that we find ourselves in as a country whereby the President speaks and is not listened to by his followers needs to stop, if his followers can’t listen to him within the country who is going to listen to Zambia anywhere else in the world that is the case we are likely to see if this trend continue,” he said.