United Party for National Development UPND (UPND) national youth chairman, Gilbert Liswaniso, has urged party youths to defend themselves if attacked, but warned UPND youths against provoking their political opponents.
Speaking on the topic ‘Add Your Voice’ radio programme on United Radio Station yesterday in Lusaka, Mr. Liswaniso observed that UPND youths and other party members have been on the receiving end of violent acts perpetrated by the Patriotic Front (PF) militias.
“It is your constitutional right to defend yourselves each time you’re attacked by the PF thuggery militias. In telling you to defend yourselves, I don’t mean that you should be provoking your opponents. The UPND is a peace loving party, and does not tolerate lawlessness,” he said.
Mr. Liswaniso reiterated that the country’s youths had the responsibility of safeguarding their lives and that of their fellow youths against PF aggression and violent behaviour.
He, however advised that much as the Constitution allowed citizens to defend themselves when attacked, it did not imply that the UPND youths should be the aggressors and perpetrators of political violence.
He said the UPND youths should not allow the PF to continue maiming and assaulting them.
He noted that the Police’s failure to arrest known PF criminal elements and hooligans was worrying.
The UPND youth strongman further argued that there was no way PF’s violent activities against opposition political players could be allowed to continue unabated especially at a critical time like this when the country was holding elections.
There has been many incidences where UPND youths have been hacked by panga-welding PF militias without any protection from the police. In most instances, police have sided with the aggressors, the PF, instead of protecting the victim, the UPND.