Stop ferrying cadres

We strongly condemn the violence that erupted in Luampa district where the by-election campaigns are being conducted.

Any form of violence should be condemned by all well-meaning Zambians.

The perpetrators of such political crimes which resulted in the beating and stabbing of a Lusaka PF member who was ferried to Luampa to campaign should be arrested and locked away.

But while we sympathize with Leonard Chisanga, the PF cadre who was beaten and stabbed, we reserve the right to question his presence in Luampa district.

Mr Chisanga lives in Lusaka’s Kuomboka area where he could be a PF official.

In fact, it cannot be in dispute that Mr Chisanga is more familiar with the Lusaka PF membership than Luampa where he went to campaign.

Despite this knowledge, Mr Chisanga travelled hundreds of kilometres from Lusaka to Luampa where he hardly knows the PF membership and the people to take over the campaigns.

Unfortunely, instead of having a smooth campaign, Mr Chisanga has found himself in Luampa Mission Hospital where he is nursing severe wounds.

While we pray that he recovers and we condemn the violence that erupted in Luampa, we question the logic in his decision to travel to Mangango.

We know Mr Chisanga was helping his party to campaign and indeed that is his right but he should have reflected on his decision.

The PF’s history of ferrying party cadres to campaign has had unfortunate consequences.

This is not the first time a ‘foreign’ PF cadre was involved in unfortunate consequences.

Memories are still fresh about what happened to a PF cadre in the Livingstone by-election who was transported there from Kalomo.

We also remember how a PF cadre from Lusaka was killed in Rufunsa after political differences.

Despite this loss of life, it is a shame that the PF has continued to bus cadres from Lusaka to areas where by-election campaigns were being conducted.

We are convinced that those cadres who are ‘imported’ are the main perpetrators of violence because they are not familiar with the people in the areas they travel to conduct their campaigns.

It cannot be disputed that local people cannot fight each other because they are family who would not want to harm a relative.

We urge the PF to stop the ferrying of ‘foreign’ political party cadres to areas where by-elections are being conducted as they are the ones in the habit of fomenting crime.

We are also urging other political parties to desist from ferrying their cadres from other towns to areas holding elections so that campaigns are conducted by indigenous political party members.