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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Political Violence is a Symptom Leadership Deficit

Columns Political Violence is a Symptom Leadership Deficit

By Father Alex Muyebe, S.J. – Executive Director

The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) is calling on both the ruling and opposition political party leaders to immediately put an end to political violence in this Zambia. Mother Zambia has a hard earned reputation as a peaceful and friendly country. This reputation now hangs in the balance as we increasingly continue to experience unwarranted cases of political violence which are doing irreparable damage to our long standing motto of “One Zambia, One Nation.”

It is disheartening to see people from the same community engaging in physical violence and fights emanating from the political differences. Clashes between party cadres must never be allowed to take place in this country because we are one people who must always respect and accommodate each other’s political opinions. Political leaders must promote politics of mutual tolerance and mutual respect and must lead by example.

Political leaders must work together to stamp out this cancer of political violence that is slowly but surely spreading in the political fabric of this nation. The current politically charged environment in Zambia is being fueled by polarized media, institutionalization of cadreism, proliferation of hate speeches, cheap culture of handouts, promotion of geo-centric and ethnocentric-politics, and erosion of confidence in the electoral process.

Politics must be a tool of service for social, cultural, and economic progress of all the people. The objective of all forms of governance and power relations must be to foster the common good of the citizens. Political violence, on the contrary, is characterised by both physical and psychological acts aimed at injuring or intimidating the other, and in some instances occasioning deaths. In a country where we pride ourselves of being a Christian nation, we should be ashamed that incidents of political violence are now becoming a common occurrence.

It is worrisome that political party leaders in this country are not ashamed of exploiting or taking advantage of poor, unemployed and vulnerable youths to their advantage. Unemployed youths are being used as tools of violence that can easily be sacrificed like pawn pieces in a game of chess. It is also sad to note that some youths are allowing themselves to be brainwashed and to sacrifice their human dignity at the altar of political hooliganism. It is high time young people woke up and be in charge of their destiny.

“A JUST ZAMBIAN SOCIETY GUIDED BY FAITH, WHERE EVERYONE ENJOYS FULLNESS OF LIFE”

JCTR is therefore calling on all political leaders in Zambia to work together and take concrete steps to stem out the culture of political violence by addressing the root causes listed above. Politicians must take a lead in practicing and promoting politics of mutual tolerance and mutual respect. Mere public denunciation or condemnation of political violence alone will not stop violence. Leaders must teach by example. This country needs leaders that are capable of engaging in a constructive dialogue and honest reconciliation. Zambia needs leaders that are capable of putting the interest of the nation ahead of their personal interest or their cronies’ interest.

Attribute statement to Father Alex Muyebe, S.J. – Executive Director

14 COMMENTS

  1. Let us stop beating about the Bush. Everyone knows that wherever upnd goes violence follows them. Please look at all the reports about violence in the past. Just recently in the north we had upnd cadres doing damage to their own car and claiming it to be pf. Their leaders were arrested for damage to public property. These chaps are savages who should be Locked up.

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  2. “…..It is disheartening to see people from the same community engaging in physical violence and fights emanating from the political differences……”

    Under lungu , for the first time in our history, Zambians were being burned alive in our towns by fellow Zambians…
    More than 50 innocent civilians were killed……while lungu watched and waited for the Zambian population to blame the opposition. It was his PF doing the gassings in parallel to fake arms importation scandel.

  3. This is a false equivalence, sir. You equivocate so you can sound fair. I have to say that is a form of dishonest. Only PF cadres block opposition leaders from certain areas, storm radio stations, destroy cars, tear down opposition offices, fight ZNS and beat police. Give me one example of any opposition group doing the same?
    And it’s only the government buying apartheid era military grade riot gear, close down media, shot protesters and withhold permits. Show me where the opposition is doing similar things?
    To love and save Zambia we must call a spade a spade. We are not helping our friends in government by making them believe they are no more and no less responsible than opposition parties. They control the military, collect our taxes, talk to bondholders…

  4. Good article, and a way forward to our great nation. This article aptly underlines one of the social ills in our society that threatens our own hard earned peace and unity. This is the reason why it is important for the police not to attach so much importance to a piece of cloth won by criminals committing heaneous crimes in the name of political parties. Anyone who commits crime must not be considered as a cadre but a criminal period. The police have themselves to blame for joining this language of calling people “cadres”. Crime does not have an alternative name it is crime. When we pass this point we should see police act decisively against any criminal activity. Why should we have groups of people belonging to any political party moving on the road at high speed telling other road…

  5. Don’t believe KZ’s lies cuz PF cadres also dish out political violence . Zambia is not immune from the bloody political mess we saw in Rwanda,Kenya ,DRC ,Nigeria and Somalia

  6. … Crime does not have an alternative name it is crime. When we pass this point we should see police act decisively against any criminal activity. Why should we have groups of people belonging to any political party moving on the road at high speed telling other road users to move off the road? This wrong. This is a new phenomenon, I was shocked to see this happening in my mother land. Where is the police force? So the police have taken a back seat? This explains why some criminal can decide to use blue light and walk into the police headquarters and decide to beat the law enforcement agents. When will this I’ll end? Perhaps we now need to begin to recruit a more educated carder of police officers and not these low calibre type that does not know whether they are going or coming. The…

  7. .,.. When will this ill end? Perhaps we now need to begin to recruit a more educated carder of police officers and not these low calibre type that does not know whether they are going or coming. The head of state cannot tell you arrest or don’t arrest. It is pure lies if someone is insinuating that, pure cheap politics. The police like many institutions in our country are made of very low calibre leaders not worth their positions. I recently visited our police headquarters in Lusaka, my word the calibre of most so called officers are completely unprofessional. They cannot think outside the box. We need to raise the bar and recruit people with higher education and high integrity and no these grade 12 failures some have even lower qualifications than grade 12 God help us.

  8. Why do you include opposition party leaders in your call when you know very well that police is there to act against the opposition if they do wrong, even when they haven’t done wrong. Just call upon the ruling party alone that’s enough because the police grow cold feet when ruling party cadres are involved.
    I thought you people were good at research and statistics. who have been the victims of political violence. If you know, then you as well know the perpetrators. Just talk straight.

  9. Remember the gassing of our people by pf leading to mass murder of more than 50 innocent civilians was under the watch of lungu……..also remember that the worst tribal attacks of radio by senior ministers is also done under lungus watch…..

  10. Remember the gassing of our people by pf leading to mass murder of more than 50 innocent civilians was under the watch of lungu……..also remember that the worst tribal attacks of radio by senior ministers is also done under lungus watch…..

    Remember also the worst cader violence is done under lungus watch….

  11. I don’t know why these cares fight, because where we are in Zambia now is not a political issue, it is a common sense issue GDP has contracted and even before covid, exchange rate is beyond the party in power to sort out, reserves are depleted, inflation is above 16% and a few years ago MMD left it at 5%,that is the only negative side of democracy, because people are allowed to choose things that don’t make sense. Why retain a team which has clearly brought the economy down. I repeat it is more a common sense issue that a partisan issue

  12. Fr Alex Muyebe is pretending not to lnow where the fault lies. And he is a Jesuit priest! His commentry is unhelpful and merits no further comment.

  13. Fr Alex Muyebe is pretending not to know where the fault lies. And he is a Jesuit priest! His commentry is unhelpful and merits no further comment.

  14. When it comes to political violence 2 culprits come to the fore, the PF and the UPND. However 3 persons have the oath to maintain law and order that is Edgar, Kampyongo and Kanganja. It’s one of the failures of Edgar Lungu. He has allowed violence to escalate because it seems he enjoys seeing people beaten in his name. He’s the Komanda, the Mwine

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