LAZ condemns political violence

The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has strongly condemned the culture of political violence being perpetrated by the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and has pledged that it will join in the prosecution of all criminals perpetrating the vice against citizens with dissenting views.

The association has observed that the increasing number of cases of violence attributed to the ruling PF against dissenting opposition political party leaders and civil society organizations has caused Zambia’s image to move from peaceful to volatile.

The association fears things could even get worse if the current violent atmosphere was not checked.

LAZ honorary secretary Linda Kasonde has observed that the violence associated with by-elections and other public gatherings was a strange growing phenomenon in Zambia.

The sporadic levels of violence had created an atmosphere of fear and trepidation among citizens at variance with the PG government.

Ms Kasonde has said the hostility and intimidation of members of the public by the PF had no place in a democratic dispensation where the market place for ideas and ideals must be allowed to prevail.

Ms Kasonde said the only thing achieved in violence was tragedy as had been witnessed in the recent political events and that it was the view of the association that all citizens should get involved in curbing the vice.

She said the perpetrators of violence could only continue if it was apparent that those involved could easily get any with it in as long sthey were associated with the ruling party.

“Increasing number of cases of violence attributed to the Patriotic Front cadres against dissenting opposition leaders and civil society organizations is a strange phenomenon and must be condemned strongly.

“The violence has led to fear and trepidation among those at variance with the PF government. As LAZ, we are willing to assist all those with evidence against any alleged offender to draw up and bring such criminals to courts of law,” Ms Kasonde said.

Ms Kasonde has called on members of the public to be vigilant and alert against criminals and take every opportunity to take photographs using whatever means and devices they could have such as phones, cameras and ipads and present them to police.

She said the law also allowed for any person to directly lay criminal complaints before the magistrate against any alleged offender.