SACCORD has called on members of various political parties in the country to respect the decisions made by their leaders if the country is to have free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.
Commenting on the national indaba by political party leaders which was held on tuesday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Cheembe said there is need for the followers of political parties should ensure that they support the commitment by their leaders.
He said yesterday’s resolutions by the various political parties that attended the indaba should be supported by all well meaning Zambians including stakeholders involved in the electoral process.
“We hope that all stakeholders will support the solutions that were arrived at and especially those who belong to political parties and those who support these parties, expect that once they respect the decisions of their own parties and support them in ensuring that the country we create an environment for holding free,fair credible and peaceful elections.
“As SACCORD we commend our political leaders for taking time off their busy schedule during this busy campaign period to dedicate themselves to discuss what we had increasingly deemed to be a national crisis and which required a national solution namely political violence. We have taken not of the resolutions that were arrived at by our political leaders and those resolutions are salient and require the support of all Zambians including all stakeholders involved in the electoral process it is clear that political violence had become an immediate and clear present danger to the peace, stability, unity and security of our country hence the need to address the scourge by our political leaders,” He said.
He also reiterated the call for Zambia Police Service to administer the POA in a manner which does not discriminate.
“We hope that the Zambia Police Service will be able to endeavour as much as possible to allow all Zambians irrespective of their political affiliation to enjoy their freedoms of association, expression as well as assembly. We hope that perpetrators of political violence who injure people, murder people, destroy public or private property will not be tolerated irrespective of their political affiliation, but brought to book away from the tendency of what appears to only bringing those who belong to the opposition to book,” he said.
He further said politicians should desist from politics of hate speech.
“We also believe that it is important that issues of hate speech are addressed. You can not resolve the many problems that our great republic face, we have got problems of poverty, unemployment, poor infrastructure and high levels of illiteracy and those can never be addressed through hate speech but rather through politics of ideas policies, manifestos and messages and that is what the people of Zambia want,” he said.