Violent Political Cadres Warned

HOME AFFAIRS Minister Ngosa Simbyakula has warned political party cadres against violence.

Dr Simbyakula said in an interview yesterday that no one was above the law and that the law would take its course against those engaging in violence.

The minister’s remarks come in the wake of continued clashes between suspected ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and their United Party for National Development (UPND) counterparts.

Dr Simbyakula said the police would remain alert and deal firmly with law breakers.

“I urge political parties to uphold discipline among their cadres. As for our cadres in the PF, let us heed our secretary general’s aice that we mobilise people in a peaceful manner. There should be no violence, let us be peaceful and maintain law and order,” he said.

PF deputy secretary general Bridget Atanga in an interview said she had not yet received a full report on the incident of clashes between suspected PF and UPND cadres which happened in Ndola at the weekend.

But speaking earlier in an interview, UPND secretary general Winstone Chibwe called on PF to address issues of violence before it escalates to other parts of the country.

“PF should concentrate on governing the country instead of brutalising innocent Zambians. Whatever intimidation will not deter us from campaigning and re-organising our political party,” Mr Chibwe said.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission has expressed concern over the continued violent behaviour that had continued to escalate among political party cadres.

HRC Chief – Information, Education and Training Samuel Kasankha said all Zambians should exhibit total respect for the rights and freedoms of individuals and other interest groups to not just exist and express themselves and operate freely without interference from anybody, but also to be fully protected by security agents as they do so.

“It is our inalienable right to freely express ourselves on any matters affecting us. Therefore all those cadres who act contrary to this spirit must be properly aised to refrain from any attempts at stopping anyone from enjoying these rights,” Mr Kasankha said.

He said clashes like the one reported in Ndola over the weekend were a big threat to public order and national security and everything possible must be done immediately to permanently stop them.

“When violence is not contained in good time, it tends to escalate and when it does, criminal elements take aantage and subject the general populace to serious human rights violations such as robberies, looting, rape, murder and so on,” he said.

He said all peace loving Zambians must condemn the unnecessary attacks by party cadres and protect all Zambians’ hard-earned rights and freedoms, while the police must be seen to start prosecuting all perpetrators now.

He commended PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba for condemning the attacks in Ndola, but urged the PF to go further by making a ger statement that undertakes to expel any members identified to have participated in attacks on opposition members.

Suspected PF and UPND cadres on Saturday clashed in Ndola as UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema featured on SUN FM Radio bringing business in town to a halt.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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