President Michael Sata should take full responsibility for the death of the PF cadre who was killed during the intra party violence that characterized Lusaka on Thursday, opposition political parties and Civil Society Organisations have demanded.
MMD’s Nevers Mumba said it was the first time in Zambia’s history that a ruling party had a power struggle involving a Justice Minister and other cabinet ministers which has led to loss of life.
And UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema has called on President Sata through Home Affairs and Zambia Police to immediately disband the heavily armed PF militias whose existence has so far been denied.
Speaking through his spokesperson Muhabi Lungu, the opposition leader demanded that President Sata puts a stop to the killings and violence going on in the country.
He said the head of state should take full responsibility for the confusion that had rocked the ruling party in recent months.
Meanwhile UPND leader Hichilema said the police should act to protect citizens without any undue political influence as that is their mandate.
He has also called upon the Church and the Civil Society Organisations to call for genuine intra and interparty dialogue and address this emerging national tragedy that was befalling Zambia.
“However, it is not a secret that much of the unprecedented scenes of lawlessness, where scores of individuals march though the Central Business District of the capital city armed with pangas and other lethal weapons, is being carried out in the name of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF).
“It is a national crisis of unprecedented proportions when citizens find it possible to arm themselves in the name of politics with no fear of consequences. It is doubly horrific when the police seem very unsure of how to respond and therefore allow party cadres to march with weapons, break traffic rules, bully other road users, frighten citizens, doing all this with impunity. It is a national crisis when these crimes are allowed to go very far into lawlessness before the police react,” Hichilema said.
But Forum for Democracy and Development leader Edith Nawakwi has charged that the entire Patriotic Front Central Committee should be held accountable for the brutal murders of their cadres during Thursday’s clashes between the two PF rival factions.
Nawakwi said all this bloodshed could have been avoided if President Sata and his PF Central Committee had provided the necessary leadership by dealing decisively with the divisive Wynter Kabimba issue.
“Instead of addressing the persistent calls and petitions to have Wynter Kabimba dismissed as PF Secretary General, the PF Central Committee has decided in their usual ‘Don’t Kubeba’ fashion to turn a blind eye to the war within their own Party.
After failing to create jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for the youths, The PF have resorted to hiring the youths as tools of violence to settle their own leadership struggles,” she said.
Nawakwi has since challenged President Sata to stamp his authority by disciplining his Vice President, Guy Scott for continuously issuing divisive and provocative statements that him (Scott), Kabimba and President Sata are the ‘A Team’ and the rest of the PF members are second class members.
Meanwhile the Non Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) says it was unacceptable that at this time and age people could be killing each other because of political differences more so that they belonged to the same political party.
“We shudder to think what would happen to Zambians who do not support the PF, if cadres of the same party cannot tolerate each other’s divergent views. President Michael Sata must show leadership and immediately put a stop to these barbaric acts by PF party cadres. It is unacceptable for cadres from the ruling party to behave in such a primitive manner.
“From the various media reports and clips on Television it is clear that the violence that ensued on Thursday was well planned and orchestrated as the cadres were armed with machetes. It is abundantly clear that these cadres are being supported within the ruling party to engage in these heinous acts,” she said.
Chairperson Beatrice Grillo reminded leaders that life was sacred and can therefore never be taken away for any price.
And NAREP national chairperson Joseph Mushalika said his party condemned the violence that rocked the city and that it was saddened by the cautions from the ruling party.
“People must begin to ask is this a just cause or something that we should be participating in?” he said.