The Non Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has warned that Zambia is no longer a safe haven because of growing violence in which people were turning against one another for no apparent reason.
NGOCC chairperson Beatrice Grillo said, “We are really worried about what is going in the country and if the government will not handle such situation with caution there could be a war in this country, this is how things start. People may think that it is a small thing yet all these small things we are experiencing are a recipe.”
She told the Daily Nation that violence was becoming a source of concern and urged the police officers to handle and exhibit political cases with caution.
Ms Grillo stated that the police should deal with such matters professionally to eradicate all sort of violence characterising.
Ms Grillo said it was important that political parties had full control of their members and should not engage in acts of violence the political scene.
She said any electoral violence ahead of by-elections should not be tolerated by anyone who meant well for Zambia, regardless of their party affiliation, adding that the political party leaders were to blame.
She appealed to youths to desist from being used as political tools because the same politicians who were using them would not even remember them once they were elected to parliament.
“It is sad that the same youths that are being used to perpetrate violence will soon be forgotten by the same politicians once they are in those offices. We as mothers in Zambia, we are not happy with the prevailing situation in the country.”
Ms Grillo said democracy could only flourish when all political leaders become tolerant of one another and avoid practising politics of character assassination that was sowing a bad seed in the country.”This is how other countries started, just like this. Differences between political parties have ended up with wars in their countries and this could also be experienced in Zambia if we are not careful. We must ensure we are guided by Christian principles to avoid what is currently going on,” she said.
Ms Grillo challenged the political parties to issue statements to their members to exercise patience, adding that they had big roles to ensure peace in the country prevailed.
Ms Grillo’s comments follows the spate of violence characterising in the country, ahead of by elections slated for Thursday.