The Southern Africa Center for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) has welcomed the move by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) to join in the prosecution of Patriotic Front (PF) thugs perpetrating violence against opposition political party leaders and civil society organizations with dissenting views.
SACCORD information officer Obby Chibuluma said it had become clear that the police had become collaborators to the violence that has recently rocked the country as no one has been arrested and prosecuted even when the culprits were known.
Mr Chibuluma said the police have failed the citizens because the PF thugs had acquired the audacity of attacking people with dissenting views even at police stations while the officers looked with folded arms.
He warned that time for the PF thugs to continue committing heinous crimes against their opponents was gone and that soon they would have find themselves in courts of law without reporting their violent acts to police.
“It is the best move to be taken by LAZ because that would bring justice to those who have been victims of violence against the ruling party. As SACCORD, we now want to sent a word of caution to the PF thugs that it will not be business as usual because they will be reported directly to the magistrates courts individually without the police who have been turned into a PF wing and are collaborating with the thugs in maiming the citizens,” Mr Chibuluma said.
Mr Chibuluma said that many opposition political leaders and civil society organizations leaders have suffered brutal attacks at the hands of PF thugs and that it was time such criminals faced the wrath of the law.
Mr Chibuluma has asked LAZ to begin sensitizing the general public on their right right to directly report perpetrators of politically motivated violence to magistrates courts.
He said the police had been protecting PF thugs causing politically motivated violence and the general public has lost confidence in the police because they have been protecting perpetrators of violence.
He said the PF as a ruling political party must begin to respect the rights of citizens even when they did not agree with them.
Mr Chibuluma said the PF thugs had the audacity to attack their opponents with impunity because they knew they had the protection of the police and would easily get away with their violent acts.
Mr Chibuluma said the decision and advice from LAZ that victims of PF political violence should directly report such cases to the magistrate court was going to provide speedy justice.
Mr Chibuluma stated that many people did not have the resources to take the matter to court and often ended up giving up even when there was ample evidence against the thugs.
LAZ yesterday strongly condemned the culture of political violence being perpetrated by the PF and pledged to join hands in the prosecution of all criminals perpetrating violence against citizens with dissenting views.
The association has observed that the increasing number of cases of violence attributed to the ruling PF against opposition political party leaders and civil society organizations has caused Zambia’s image move from peaceful to volatile.
And Operation Young Vote (OYV) executive director Guess Nyirenda has applauded LAZ saying many poor people in communities who have been victims of the PF violence had failed to speak out because they have always been trampled on.
Mr Nyirenda observed that there had been a lot of lawlessness on the party of PF and it was time the victims regained their power and confidence that has been eroded by the PF thugs.