PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has publicly denounced political violence and warned that any member of the Patriotic Front (PF) who perpetrates the vice excommunicates himself or herself from the ruling party.
The Head of State said he was not a violent person and expected his flock in the ruling party to follow suit.
“I wish to denounce violence publicly and assure the nation that I am a peaceful person.
“Anyone who perpetrates violence in the name of PF excommunicates himself or herself from PF,” he said.
He was speaking in Zimba District yesterday when he addressed the public after commissioning four newly-constructed buildings at Zimba Mission Hospital.
Mr Lungu said the ruling party won last year’s election peacefully and that the trend would repeat itself this year.
He urged his fellow political party leaders to ensure that known perpetrators of violence in their parties were restrained.
“As the shepherd of my party, my sheep know my voice and they hear me. Other political leaders are also known by their followers and the leaders know the mischievous people in their parties who should be restrained,” Mr Lungu said.
Recently, 18 political party leaders resolved to eliminate all forms of violence in their parties and public activities.
This was during an indaba with the three Church mother bodies in Lusaka.
The Head of State has since vowed to ‘walk the talk’ in implementing the resolutions of the dialogue.
Meanwhile, Mr Lungu has praised the traditional leadership in Southern Province for helping the Government preach peace to the people in the area.
He said he was elated that with the aid of the traditional leaders, people in the region in particular and the country as a whole were promoting co-existence with one another.
“Thank you for helping us in maintaining peace. Your messages to our people seem to be sinking in now as we are having less incidences of violence,” President Lungu said.
The Head of State was speaking in Zimba yesterday when he met with four chiefs and a senior chief from Southern Province.
The traditional leaders were Senior Chief Mukuni and chiefs Chikanta, Simwatachela, Sipatunyana and Siyachitema.
Mr Lungu was optimistic that Zambians would continue upholding the right for one to choose a political grouping of one’s choice.
He said just like supporters of different football teams co-existed, leaders and disciples of separate political entities could also live in unity.
“Going forward, I think that people will accept that democracy simply means people having the right to choose which party you want to belong to.
“Just like football, you can support this team or that team without fighting. So even the political players, the tendency should be to accept one’s right to choose a political party, not killing one another,” he said.
The President was confident that bad societal elements would be dealt with, while assuring the chiefs that political parties would apply the resolutions of the recent inter-party dialogue between political leaders and the church.
Mr Lungu refuted allegations that he was instigating the arrest and prosecution of prominent opposition political figures in the country.
The President said he had faith in the law enforcement agencies as well as the judiciary, hence the institutions operated independently.
Mr Lungu said law breakers would always be pursued by law enforcement agencies which make their own judgements.
“Whether it’s PF, UPND, MMD, NAREP or any political party, no one is above the law. We just hope that justice will be done at the end of the day.
“Those who will be found guilty will be found guilty and those who will be found innocent will be innocent, I have confidence in our judicial system,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional leaders, Chief Siyachitema said southerners regarded the Head of State as the President for all Zambians.
“There could be one or two people who feel otherwise but we all need to work together,” he said.