Mkushi-based Anglican Church Priest Fr. John Emmanuel Kapambwe has condemned the violence that marred the filling of nominations for the fourth-coming Mkushi Council Chairperson by-election on Thursday.
UPND and PF cadres clashed during the filing in of nominations for the Mkushi Council Chairperson by-election on Thursday.
Speaking in his personal capacity, Fr. Kapambwe said he was very disappointed with the violent incidents witnessed in Mkushi.
The Anglican Priest noted that political violence must not be entertained because it was a primitive way of campaigning or doing politics.
Fr. Kapambwe called for an immediate stop to political violence.
“I want to express my disappointment over the Political Violence in Mkushi that characterised beginning of Campaigns today between UPND and PF cadres. Political Campaign is a privilege that political players must use to persuade the people to vote for them by explaining what they will deliver to the community if they are voted for. This has to be done in a manner that I appropriate.Political violence must not be entertained, moreover, it is primitive way of campaigning. Political Violence will not bring any benefit to this nation. The message of our President His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema is very clear, he has been preaching peace and unity even other stakeholders like the Church and many other organizations. It is for this reason that nation will come together to pray for the nation and the theme is;”Promoting National Unity, peace and integration for Prosperous Zambia through Hardwork.”We should not fight we are one people, remember that there is life after campaigns,” Fr. Kapambwe said.
He challenged political leaders to tame their cadres in a bid to end political violence.
Fr. Kapambwe reminded UPND cadres in particular to always remember that President Hakainde Hichilema preaches peace and love.
“Why should we fight? We live in the same community, we go to the same Churches and we neighbours but why should we allow campaigns to destroy our brotherhood?As clergyman I strongly condemn this barbaric act. It must stop with immediate effect.I call upon all political cadres to be responsible because a peaceful Zambia starts with each one of us (Peaceful Zambia starts with me). I further call upon the Political Leaders to term their cadres so that this incident is not repeated.I also appeal to the other relevant authorities to regulate such behaviours.To the UPND cadres always remember the preaching of our President on peace do not let him down he love loves peace.All the candidates standing I wish you all the best may the one God has appointed carry the day,” Fr. Kapambwe said.
Meanwhile, PF and UPND have condemned the violence in Mkushi.
PF Chairperson for Information and Publicity Raphael Nakacinda condemned the violence and accused the UPND of being behind the clash.
“First of all, I would like to express our disappointment at the conduct of the UPND as a party. The violence that was exhibited in Mkushi is uncalled for. The violence that was exhibited in Lusangazi was uncalled for. The chasing away of PF candidates and blocking them from filing in nominations in Southern Province is undemocratic and barbaric. We have always said that if there is a political party that is violent in this country it’s the UPND. In time past they coined a slogan of Mapatizya formula, later on it was other slogans that all spoke to violence. They are experts at advancing deceit. In one vein, they will talk about the rule of law but their real conduct is actually you know, lawlessness. They have no regard whatsoever to the law. Look at how they have manipulated and interfere with the ECZ to the point of it making decisions, pronouncements that are unconstitutional and contentious,” Mr Nakacinda said.
The former Water Development Minister alleged that there is the process of ethnic and tribal cleansing within the police service and other law enforcement agencies.
“Yesterday in Lusangazi, you could see from the faces of Police Officers who are supposed to be enforcers of the law, clearly they are under capture, with the dismissal of over 35 officers, mainly from Eastern Province and Northern Province in what is called national interest.The very list that the UPND were denying that it is fake, now it is being actualized. There is the process of ethnic and tribal cleansing within the police service, within other law enforcing agencies and uniformed officers that are supposed to be providing security.It is very sad that we are degenerating at a fast rate under the UPND towards the Banana republic. And this, we are calling on Zambia, wake up. We know that many times when we are speaking we are perceived as just advancing our political interests.This is not about PF, this is about Zambia, our democracy, our freedoms and our rights that are being taken away at a fast rate each and every day that passes. Look at how the police now are being used to block other candidates from other political parties from participating in elections by blocking them from filing in nominations,” he said.
UPND Secretary General Batuke Imenda said his party members were being tempted by disgruntled opposition parties with intentions of testing their tolerance.
“As many of you may recall, our party was overwhelmingly voted into government by the people of Zambia on August 12, 2021, to restore the rule of law, among other leadership commitments.It was on the basis of strict adherence to the rule of law that President Hakainde Hichilema, who is our Party president too, declared that there will be no cadreism in markets, bus stations, or indeed in the public places.So far, we are satisfied by the levels at which our party members have embraced President Hichilema directive of non violence.As such, the UPND has not deviated from this position, especially that our people suffered extreme levels of political violence at the hands of the PF regime over the last decade,” Mr. Imenda said.
“Further, we are gradually witnessing high levels of political provocations by disgruntled opposition parties with intentions of testing our tolerance. There are numerous cases where some opposition members have showering total disrespect for the Republican President Hakainde Hichilema by showing him with insults.The sum total of the Mkushi incident is that when the Patriotic Front (PF) filed in nominations, they went straight to the UPND camp with their truck to provoke their colleagues.At this point UPND youths reacted.I wish to also call upon our general membership to remain calm and report all sorts of provocation to the Zambia police service.To that end, we call for civility from our opponents, Zambians have spoken, we must respect their views. No violence. Nonetheless, matters of such nature fall within the mandate of the Zambia Police, and it is our hope that the law enforcement agencies will fully exercise this legal mandate,” he said.