The Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes SACCORD has warned the ruling PF in Eastern Province that their party risks being consumed by violence if the reported scourge is left unchecked.
In a statement issued to the media Wednesday, SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Cheembe said his organization regrets and condemns the reported political violence involving the PF Eastern Province Information and Publicity Secretary and other members of the party which has seemed to have continued unabated.
Mr. Cheembe observed that the party risks losing members due to the continued violence as no member would be willing to contribute meaningfully to a party where violence was the order of the day.
“The PF in Eastern Province have been confronted with several challenges of political violence which has involved both physical violence and violent communication for some time. If this culture is left unchecked in the province it will consume the ruling party as it will likely lead to polarization of the party without any unity and stability. This would be the case with any other political party in the country if acts of political violence can be the order of the day without any restraint,” he said.
He called of the PF leadership in the province to address the violence that it has been confronted with and ensure that divergent views are respected.
“The ruling party especially at national level have shown that they have the pedigree to utilize laid down procedure for addressing grievances of party members peacefully without having to resort to political violence. The political violence that appears to confront the provincial leadership in Eastern Province needs to be addressed as there is need to ensure that there is respect to tolerance to divergent views within the party.
“We take note and welcome the position by the Provincial party Chairperson that he does not condone violence, and this is how it should be. We appeal to the Eastern Province Provincial leadership to seriously reflect on the need to embrace non-violent and peaceful means of addressing individuals with divergent views and thereby guarantee that tolerance prevails,” he said.
He added that the approach which has seemingly been taken by some individuals in leadership positions in the province will only breed disunity in the party.
“The approach of beating individuals wherever disagreements emerge will only lead to the party breeding disunity in the province and thereby undermining the importance of democratic governance that requires tolerance to divergent views as a prerequisite for peace.
“We further appeal to the ruling PF national leadership through the Office of the Secretary General and the President to build the capacity of the Eastern province leadership on using peaceful party laid down procedure to resolve any differences that may emerge in the province. Violence only breeds violence and if this is allowed as the method to resolve differences the political violence will only erode the confidence of stakeholders and the citizens in the province,” he said.