State Warns Against Anarchy in Mangango

THE Government has warned that mayhem will not be tolerated ahead of next Tuesday’s by-election in Mangango and has urged the Police Command to take charge of affairs to protect innocent citizens.
Chief Government spokesperson Joseph Katema condemned opposition leaders for giving tacit support to their members engaging in violence, describing this as shocking.
Dr Katema, who is Information and Broadcasting Services minister, said violence witnessed in Luampa District where political cadres engaged in criminal acts were disturbing, especially attacks on Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Josephine Limata, Chief Mwanatete and his wife.
Dr Katema said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that the law would visit anyone engaging in unlawful conduct without regard of one’s political affiliation or status in society.
“Government is concerned that this culture of violence is being condoned by certain senior opposition politicians who are not condemning these criminal acts,” Dr Katema said.
“It is sad that these politicians still want to practice medieval politics of violence instead of selling their candidates and parties to the electorate.”
The minister said Zambia was known for its peace and tranquility which had existed for the past 50 years and it was the desire of every well-meaning Zambian that the status quo continued.
“The so-called cadres were last week reported to have also attacked Luampa District Commissioner Alfred Miyato and worse still beat up Chief Mwanatete and his wife, and damaged his property. In all this mayhem, the so-called cadres have been reported to be wielding machetes, knives and stones,” Dr Katema said.
He said the collective fight for Zambians should be against poverty, disease and general underdevelopment and not wielding weapons against one another.
“Zambians should absolutely reject anyone denting the country’s impeccable credentials of peace, unity and love. It is important for everyone to realise that we only have one country and we should have a responsibility to maintain peace and order. This Government will not condone any lawlessness regardless of who is involved,” Dr Katema said.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has also added calls for political parties to refrain their members from engaging in violent conduct.
ECZ public relations officer, Cris Akufuna called for strict adherence to electoral regulations, including the Code of Conduct.
Mr Akufuna also appealed to the Zambia Police to ensure that perpetrators of violence were firmly dealt with.
Mr Akufuna said in a statement that the Commission had noted with concern media reports suggesting rising levels of intolerance and violence by political parties and reminded them that they had a duty to ensure their candidates and supporters adhered to electoral regulations.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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