For immediate Release
OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON
VIOLENCE IN PF THAT IS ENGULFING THE NATION
Country men and country women; I would like today to very somberly address myself to the violence that once more played out in Lusaka streets yesterday leading to the reported deaths and serious injuries of citizens.
I believe I speak for the majority of Zambians when I say the violence that is breaking so often on our streets and its threat, is alien, frightening and very unwelcome here.
This is not the time for me to make political capital out of this very dangerous situation we find ourselves in. We have been known, both in the region and abroad, as a haven of peace – a nation whose people respect the rule of law and uphold the rights of every member of our society.
However, it is not a secret that much of the unprecedented scenes of lawlessness, where scores of individuals march though the Central Business District of the capital city armed with pangas and other lethal weapons, is being carried out in the name of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF).
Today we have a parent mourning their child while others are nursing their brutally injured child in hospital, as a result of yet another violent PF political episode. We also have a child who has lost a father, and a wife who is mourning a husband, and others nursing their loved ones who were hacked by fellow Zambians.
As a Zambian citizen and leader of an opposition party that has been a victim of such PF political brutality, I have tried to refrain myself from commenting on issues concerning other political parties. However I find it difficult to be quiet when the truth is that the problem is no longer a PF one, it is a national problem. I would therefore like to make a few points:
1. It is national crisis of unprecedented proportions when citizens find it possible to arm themselves in the name of politics with no fear of consequences. It is doubly horrific when the police seem very unsure of how to respond and therefore allow party cadres to march with weapons, break traffic rules, bully other road users, frighten citizens, doing all this with impunity. It is a national crisis when these crimes are allowed to go very far into lawlessness before the police react. I therefore call on Mr. Sata through the Minister of Home Affairs and Zambia Police to immediately disband these heavily armed PF militias whose existence has so far been denied. The police must act to protect citizens without any undue political influence from lawlessness, as that is their mandate.
2. It is my heartfelt prayer that President Michael Sata and his Cabinet will for once respond to these unprecedented brutal events in our country in protection of our long cherished peace and stability. I therefore call upon the Zambia police to urgently investigate and bring to book the perpetrators of these political crimes and those that sponsor them. It is long past time for President Sata to reign on the cadres and leaders in whose name the anarchy is taking place.
3. To the Church and other Civil Society Organisations, I call upon you to call for genuine intra and interparty political dialogue and address this emerging national tragedy that is befalling this nation and other issues.
4. To Zambians, young people, especially, the unemployed and disillusioned. I know life is hard. I know meals are hard to come by. I know you wake up to boredom without hope of school, a job or even entertainment to fill the hours. I understand this but I beg you – don’t die or kill for a few kwachas or a little beer. This Zambia is ours. It is blessed with resources. The dark times will pass. Please do not be used to destroy the peace our parents and grandparents fought for. Above all do not die in vain and leave your families to grieve the loss of a dear son or daughter. Do not be the one who takes another’s life for selfish political and other partisan reasons. We only have this Zambia and peace is our greatest treasure.
I appeal to all Zambians, it is time we made our voices heard against this situation regardless of our political persuasions so that together again regain our peace
Lastly I offer my heartfelt condolences to the families that lost their loved ones in this unnecessary undertaking. To those that were injured I wish them a quick recovery so that they can return to their normal and productive lives.
May God bless our beloved motherland and have a productive life.
UNITED PARTY FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT