The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ)says it is saddened by the reported return of political violence as exhibited during the filing in of nominations for the Chilanga by-elections.
The Council is more saddened that MMD cadres had the audacity of manhandling national leaders without restraint and show of respect.
“The MMD should show leadership by restraining their overzealous cadres. The ruling party should teach their cadres to respect national leaders be they opposition MPs or leaders of a political party. The reported manhandling of Mr. Hichilema by MMD cadres shows lack of respect for national leaders and lack of appreciation of the constitutional role that these leaders play in our democracy,” Rev. Suzanne Matale said.
The Council would like to urge political parties to develop a culture of tolerance and respect for divergent views and political choices.
“Zambians should be free to support the ruling party or any opposition party without the fear of being beaten or hounded out. The happenings in Chilanga should not be encouraged and the MMD should join us in condemning the harassment of national leaders in the hands of hooligans regardless of which party they belong to.” Said Rev. Matale.
The Council is pleased to note the professional role the police played in making sure that Mr. Hichilema and his entourage were protected from the MMD cadres.
“We would like to encourage the Zambia Police to continue providing law and order in a professional manner without being cowed into fear or favour by the MMD cadres. The way they brought sanity in Chilanga yesterday is commendable and we encourage them to stay firm. Our memories are still fresh from the Mumfumbwe electoral violence,” said Rev. Matale.