PF must stop its violence

THE intra-party political violence being perpetrated by the Patriotic Front (PF) must be stopped because it is threatening the democratic and smooth governance of the country, United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has said.

And the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) says the ruling Patriotic Front central committee must immediately call for an extra ordinary meeting to address internal fighting that has engulfed the party.

Mr Hichilema said it was worrying that the PF had continued with its violent conduct from the time they formed government and appealed to the leadership to be firm because there was a danger that the scourge could spread across the country.

The UPND president stated that the PF leadership such as Livingstone member of Parliament Lawrence Evans and Southern Province Minister Daniel Munkombwe should not just be crying about their violent cadres but that they must find means of making their members civil.

He said Mr Evans should stop crying because he had been warned about the danger of nurturing a crop of violent cadres in the party.

Mr Hichilema said it was the expectation of Zambians that the ruling party should have stabilized in government but that it was shocking that the cadres had continued with their violent conduct.

He said it was under the PF that Zambians had witnessed bloody electoral and political violence that had resulted into the death of a number of citizens while the leadership of the PF had continued accusing the opposition political parties of engaging in the vice.

Mr Hichilema said the PF would remain a violent and indisciplined political party because its leadership did not believe in democracy and that the ruling party was a danger to the peace and political stability of the country.

He recounted that the violence that broke out in Rufunsa in 2012 that left a PF cadre dead was orchestrated by the ruling party but that President Michael Sata was quick to accuse the opposition political parties which saw the police arresting UPND cadre Isaac Zulu who was accused of murdering Menyani Zulu

Mr Zulu has since been acquitted.

Mr Hichilema said Zambians must reject the militarization of the country by the PF because the country was a democracy in which divergent views and opinions were expected to be respected.

In the Livingstone violence, Mr Hichilema recalled that he was arrested along with Mazabuka Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo and his counterpart for Kalomo Request Muntanga.

The UPND leader recalled that the PF cadres violently attacked him when he attended the funeral of late Nakatindi Wina at the Cathedral of the Holly Cross.

He said the PF cadres also attacked him when he attended the funeral of Mama Betty Kaunda adding that while in Kasama, the ruling party cadres blocked him from going to meet with Paramount Chief Chitimukulu.

And SACCORD executive director Boniface Chembe said the infighting in the ruling party did not sit well with the country’s democracy.

He said the political violence being perpetrated by the PF members had become a threat to democracy.

Mr Chembe told the Daily Nation that it was a mockery of democracy and destruction, especially to the Zambian people who expected to see development as their benefit.

“It is sad that the ruling party infighting has reached the stage where members can perpetrate violence in front of the leadership and the party secretary general Edgar Lungu in Livingstone, forcing him to cancel the meeting prematurely,” he said.

Mr Chembe said there was need to address discipline in PF which was lacking.