Vubwi Braces for Political Violence

Political party youths from various political parties in Vubwi have vowed to continue with peaceful and vigorous campaigns despite the current heavy presence and intimidation by Patriotic Front (PF) cadres who have been transported from Lusaka.

During random interviews from Vubwi, the young people have indicated that there was a heavy presence of paramilitary police in Vubwi and this enormous presence of the military was intimidating people from conducting political campaigns freely.

Isaac Zulu from the United Party for National Development (UPND) said the opposition party youths had decided to carry on their party campaigns ahead of the September 11 parliamentary by elections.

He said there was a lot of indication and provocation from PF cadres who had descended on Vubwi and these individuals were armed.

“Although we have a lot of people from places like Lusaka and Chipata, we have resolved to continue with our peaceful campaigns. We will not stop our activities even in the presence of armed paramilitary police. These police officers are instilling fear in the people because the innocent and unarmed people are scared of engaging in political activities as a consequence,” he said.

Another youth Davison Mangiza from the MMD said the ruling party camp in Vubwi was distributing a lot of material handouts such as Chitenge (wrappers), food and they were pretending to be on government work by conducting government programmes such as social cash transfer programmes in an effort to woo votes.

Mangiza said there was abuse of the police in Vubwi who had been seen to be intimidating local cares from the opposition political parties.

He said the young people in Vubwi would remain resolute and alert in the defence of democracy and the people’s will in the constituency.

“In Vubwi, we want a clean playing field. We want the true voice of the people to come out. It is difficult for the true voice of the people to come out when there is intimidation from the ruoing party and the heavy presence of military people who are instilling fear in the people,” he said.

Benson Mwanza from the MMD said the political playing field in Vubwi was not fair because of the heavy presence of police, which was being seen as a strategy to intimidate the people.

Mwanza said the government machinery from various districts had descended on Vubwi where government services were being dispensed to the people, but this was being done in a bid to win the by-elections.

“As MMD, we have decided that it would be business as usual because we are not a violent party. Therefore, we have no problem with the police presence here. We only hope that the police would be fair and firm against those who would be perpetrating violence. It is important that we observe the electoral code of conduct,” he said.

Vubwi is one of the constituencies that goes to the polls to re-elect their Members of Parliament after the courts recently nullified elections in the regions.

The other constituencies are Solwezi Central, Pateuke Central and Zambezi West.

Source : Zambia Reports

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