Political parties have yesterday resolved to working together to end political violence, which has characterized the country’s elections in the recent past. Among the resolutions reached were to respect each other’s rights and allow the police to work independently.
Acting Minister of Justice Stephen Kampyongo said it is government’s responsibility to provide leadership for the people as they reach consensus on how to end violence. Mr. Kampyongo was however quick to state that violence does not spare those that ignite it and that it has devastating results.
He said Zambia has enough pieces of legislation to deal with these bad vices if only political parties could come to a common agreement. Mr Kampyongo who is Home affairs Minister, said the laws currently are equal to the task and political parties have the responsibility to leave a legacy for the next generation.
He has since called on the spirit of unity and togetherness by avoiding being emotional because in the end they will loose objectivity. Mr. Kampyongo explained that President Edgar Lungu had made it clear that issues of violence must be stopped at all cost
He said the way forward for all political parties is now to provide leadership than being antagonistic in resolving this issue. Mr. Kampyongo noted that the police service is a professional service, and will soon be equipped effectively when dealing with members of the public
He said the ruling party has no problem with the motion because it is timely and there is need to put the issue of violence to bed. Mr. Kampyongo has also urged ECZ to continue calling on meetings and engaging various political parties so that they may be educated on electoral violence.
The political parties made the call yesterday after Choma Central Member of Parliament Cornelious Mweetwa moved a private members motion urging the government to take practical measures to curb electoral violence which was seconded by Zambezi East MP Brian Kambita.
Debating earlier, Mr. Mweetwa observed that political violence can only end if the opposition upholds the rule of law.
The Choma Central lawmaker said Zambia had sufficient laws to stem out the continued violence but the problem was with the opposition and those occupying public offices.
He said those governing the country have failed to take appropriate action fairly and to apply the laws to all the citizens.
Mr. Mweetwa said there is also need to recognize and respect human rights in Zambia as the current situation indicates otherwise.
Political violence largely pitting the ruling Patriotic Front and UPND has been a highly topical issue with the recent Sesheke by-election bringing the matter to the fore.