Deserted Street in Shesheke after the political Violence
Deserted Street in Shesheke after the political Violence

By Dickson Jere

The Mufumbwe parliamentary by-election of April 2010 was one of the bloodiest in recent history of our country – the Sesheke style! Houses were torched while dozens of people were maimed or badly injured during the fierce fight between the then Ruling MMD and the opposition UPND supporters. The President was livid!

The pictures that came out in the press was disheartening- like from civil strife in some remote African country that we see on television.

The President called an urgent meeting with the Defence and Security leadership.

“This is unacceptable!” President Rupiah Banda fumed at the Impromptu meeting.

The Inspector General of the Police was put on blame by everyone in attendance. They also wondered why he was in Lusaka when the situation was deteriorating in Mufumbwe. He was told to show leadership!

“We can’t keep the Commander In-Chief busy discussing small issues like political violence of drunk cadres” he said.

As the meeting got heated, Army Commander Gen. Wisdom Lopa took the floor with few words. He asked the IG one simple question. “Have you failed to quell the violence in Mufumbwe?” The Gen asked, stating he wanted a “Yes”or “No” answer.

If the answer was Yes, the Gen wanted to send his men and sort out the situation!

“We can’t keep the Commander In-Chief busy discussing small issues like political violence of drunk cadres” he said.

In a nutshell, the IG was dispatched to the area after he confirmed he had the capacity to bring order. And order prevailed the moment he arrived and in fact he had an almost physical fight with UPND leader. (remember that picture that went viral).

So it is disheartening to see pictures coming out of Sesheke almost ten years after the Mufumbwe experience. It means the police command do not learn from the past and therefore the blame must be squarely placed on its leadership. The Sesheke by-election was expected to be volatile given the stakes. Did the police plan on how to deal with the situation? Or are they reacting to the situation? Who is head of the mission on the ground? Tough questions but they must be answered by someone in the high command of the police! These are my Sesheke questions!

You see, I have not placed the blame on either PF or UPND – because the police has the capacity to stop the ongoing petty political fights.

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24 COMMENTS

    • Lungu does not match the caliber of any of his predecessors. We have see pictures of PF thugs wielding pistols and engaged in violence and later posing for photographs with the presidents and his aides Lungu is violence and violence is Lungu. This is the reason he afraid of dialogue

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    • The police should stop aligning themselves with the ruling party. They must also protect the freedom of assembly to which opposition are entitled to.

      If the police are neutral, lets see the perpetrators who have been captured on social media arrested.

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    • A check by police officers today found pangs and guns in the hands of PF thugs 14 of them who were trying to terrorise voters.

      Despite massive evidence awash on online media PF cretins still want to deny the Lungu and PF are responsible for the violence.

      If people choose UPND because it tells them exactly what they want and gives them hope for the future why terrorise them?

      Western province has the most intelligent Zambians but because of marginalisation the brain power is untapped.

      The westerners were the first people to have their leader visit the king in UK. I have not read of any other traditional leaders being recognised by the monarchy in UK. To assume they are visionless is an insult.

      No matter what they deserve better like most Zambians do and they have the…

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    • The westerners were the first people to have their leader visit the king in UK. I have not read of any other traditional leaders being recognised by the monarchy in UK. To assume they are visionless is an insult.

      No matter what they deserve better like most Zambians do and they have the right to believe that UPND is their party of choice to deliver their utopia.

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    • Ba Dickson your analysis is for an ideal Zambia. Today’s Zambia is one where policemen are PF cadres from the streets and markets, who know nothing about public order, but serve only the interest of PF. There’s no country left Sir, it’s SAD!!!!!

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    • If a cadre can publicly slap a Police inspector and ask him “Do you know who I am?” and the IG looks the other way; it goes withiout saying. Dickson there is no need to mention who is to blame, it is there for all to see.

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    • UPND is well known for violence and anybody who can’t see this must equally be violent, that’s the DNA of the party.

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  1. Chicken & Egg problem, which comes first? Discuss. It’s not POLICE FAILURE per se.

    The problem is the Cadres of racist Western province of Zambia. Elections have become life and death for them. Multi-party politics has brought up this divide in Zambia. It’s not the police failure to tackle this that’s the problem. It’s the people’s minds that needs to be treated. I believe Zambia is in the grip of Lenshina like cultism. It’s correctly a tribal problem brought on by HHs’, UPND.

    PF then responds by challenging this problem by trying to forcefully cut some inroad into the four provinces that are causing this problem. HEAL THE PEOPLE IN THOSE PROVINCES, FIRST. we need to help them abandon tribalism, then the violence will go away.

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    • It’s a phenomena, an apparition of ugly evil has descended on Zambia. The people in those regions are under a charismatic trance. Controlled .

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  2. Good write. Indeed the Zambia Police has the capacity to deal and completely stop political violence, the problem is Police command is compromised because of politics. It doesn’t matter who is IG since the IG gets to answer to a cadre. The situation will keep getting worse since at no time has the current head of state ever directed Zambia police to impartially and swiftly deal with anyone or political clique found wanting, there is just too much political interference.

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  3. political violence will only stop if all political parties stop ferrying lusaka cadres to other places,let the grassroot members of those respective areas do the campaign with advisers from top party heirhachy .local people know each other well and i doubt if the locals though belonging to different political parties would fight a bloody battle,because these people dine together.i know believe WINTER KABIMBA when he said PF is the most violent party in the history of zambia,remember he said this when he was SG of PF.

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  4. UPND is one of the major sponsors of political violence. After 2006 we had 3 major political players, PF, UPND & MMD, however it was UPND and MMD that were involved in violence. Today PF is in Government, you know which party it’s involved with in violence. Andeleki was right when he wanted to deregister this Mason Party

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  5. Dickson you are asking the right questions but I think you know the answer. State institutions are dysfunctional due to political capture.

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  6. It’s sad that in this country we have very short memories. Saying that the Sesheke political violence is the first and bloodiest in the country is avoiding telling the truth. In his statement when he was justifying the introduction of one party state sited polical violence as the main reason and in own words he said ‘ he said he wanted to stop the fighting & bashing of heads at every election’. Have we forgotten the blood letting in the Mapatizya & Mufumbwe by-elections just about 10 years ago? In these cases it was the ANC against UNIP, UPND against MMD, and recently UPND against PF. PF members in opposition & prio to the 2011 elections were being hacked with Pangas by MMD at Moono in Chongwe but they never reterrieted with violence. Who then is violent considering the scenerio…

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  7. I have nothing against Edgar Lungu and I am not UPND or indeed opposition but when it comes to Leadership, our brother ECL was not gifted with such. And when he goes out of the country the way he bores his head when greeting other leaders, embarrassing. That is not on and somebody needs to tell him to stop that, just greet your peers no vima bowing bowing please. There is nothing like that in the greeting protocols please napapata

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