Leaders of 18 political parties who met yesterday from 1430 hours to 22 hours agreed to end political violence through their leadership structures.
The leaders expressed concern on the unfair application of the Public Order Act by the Zambia Police Service.
The leaders also agreed to end the use of perceived military regalia alongside pangas ahead of the general elections.
They also called on each other to refrain from the use of hate speech and offensive language especially against each other.
They recommended to hold a follow up meeting before the elections as a way of keeping the momentum created through the indaba.
FDD President Edith Nawakwi was happy with the resolutions and promised to support the implementation agreed upon in the meeting.
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema also expressed happiness and vowed to ensure that all political parties abide by the agreed demands to end political violence.
And President Edgar Lungu described the meeting as candid and acknowledged the need to implement the resolution for the benefit of all citizens in the country.
President Lungu thanked the organisers for bringing political leaders under one roof.
Below is the full Communique
COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED FOLLOWING A MEETING WITH POLITICAL PARTY LEADERS CONVENED BY THE THREE CHURCH MOTHER BODIES AT THE CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY CROSS IN LUSAKA
The 18 political party presidents met today on the 29th day of March, 2016 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka to discuss the issue of political violence as Zambia prepares for the August 11, 2016 elections, facilitated by the three Church Mother bodies namely Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) and Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) unanimously affirm the following over and above all other interests:
Committed to ending political violence through various political leadership structures as a way of addressing the issue starting from the party structures and amongst political parties.
Concerned with the unfair application of the Public Order Act by the Zambia Police in targeting political party supporters negatively.
Agreed to end the use of perceived military regalia alongside machetes and pangas as they have played a role towards fanning violence and therefore political party hereby commit to curb their use so as to eliminate fear and intimidation.
Agreed to use existing leadership structures in various political parties to encourage members to desist from violent acts, thus strengthening a culture of political dialogue and tolerance within and amongst political parties.
Agreed to depoliticise the markets, bus stations and other public places in the country in order to allow for all Zambian to enjoy their use freely.
Aware that the media has contributed to the polarisation of political parties through its conduct, and we recommend initiation of a platform for dialogue to encourage positivity and inclusive coverage of all political parties.
Agreed that the political party leaders refrain from the use of hate speech and offensive language especially against each other to avoid political violence. Leaders of political parties believe that there is need for interactive platforms to meet as political leaders to establish healthy relationships.
Recommend that political party leaders agree to hold a follow-up meeting before the elections as a way of keeping the momentum created in addressing political violence through this meeting called by the Church.
In view of the above we the political party leaders present shall endeavour to advocate for a violent free political environment ahead of this year’s elections as a way of expressing our political tolerance for the development of the country.
NAME PARTY SIGNATURE
1.Edgar Lungu PF
2.Edith Nawakwi FDD
3.Nevers Mumba MMD
4. Dr Danny Pule CDP
5. Hakainde Hichilema UPND
6. Tilyenji Kaunda UNIP
7. Edwin Sakala ZDDM
8.Cosmo Mumba NRP
9. Peter Chanda NCP
10.Dr Ludwig Sondashi FDA
11. Charles Maboshe NAREP
12. Fredrick Mutesa ZED
13.Gerry Sikazwe PRP
14.James Musendeka RPP
15.Frazier Malama NFZ
16.James Mbewe APC
17. Epyrious Mulenga HP
18. Mutale Mwila NAP
19. Mike Mulongoti PP