STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE MOVEMENT FOR MULTI PARTY DEMOCRACY (MMD) AT THE INTER PARTY DIALOGUE ON ESCALATING POLITICAL VIOLENCE
The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) wishes to put it on record that we are committed to Zero Tolerance on Electoral Violence and all its off shoots of thuggery, insults, unpalatable language, politics of name calling and character maligning.
We are victims of political violence in the recent past which left our party secretariat badly damaged. We all can speak with a measure of knowledge about the ills of this vice. Violence represents for the most part, if not always a failure to reason intelligently, reasonably, and respectfully. Violence is a desperate act which happens when we are not sure about our chances in the competition. Violence is arrogance caused by a crisis of estimation in terms of our true stature/profile
1. On our part, the president of the MMD with his National Executive Committee has repeatedly called for civil engagement in politics. We have on several occasions and at different fore made public statements to condemn politically related and motivated violence
2. There is no one who can deny the fact that an unprecedented level of violence has been unleashed into our politics. The scenes are frightening; they are disturbing and indeed worrying. Our children are being made to witness these horrors. The youth are being encouraged to accept that, their place in the political process is that of being vehicles of violence. Society at large is being forced into accepting that this culture will be part of the political process for Zambia.
The answers to this problem are within this room today. They are not out there somewhere. We are all commanders of our cadres. If we talk honestly and openly, we in the MMD have no that we shall not just experience a de-escalation of violence but will certainly eradicate it.
Among us, are leaders of the two political parties who have been at the center of the recent spate of violence namely the Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND)? From you fellow leaders, more is expected. You need to send clear messages to your cadres that you detested political violence. You have to speak firmly about how you will not support those who practice violence. You must tone down on your public posturing with those “militarized” youths in Military attire.
It is our hope that this indaba will achieve on its main objective. Going forward we propose these deliverables.
1. A professional Police Service that will uphold the rule of law in maintaining public order without bias to the ruling party.
2. As we get closer to elections, we call on all candidates and representatives of political parties to refrain from the use of language or actions that risk inciting violence.
3. The electoral code of conduct must be respected by all participants.
4. A commitment be signed by us all to pledge our zero tolerance to violence and a communiqué be generated and read by the conveners
If this Indaba does not achieve the above, we will have wasted the ecclesiastical efforts and time of our esteemed bishops who have spearheaded this Indaba
We are convinced that, delivering a free, fair, safe and credible election is important to Zambia’s democracy and international reputation in light of the declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation.
I thank You.
Nevers Sekwila Mumba