Political violence irks NGOCC

THE Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) says it is worried by the continued cases of political violence across the country which could fuel anarchy if left unchecked.

NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale has observed that Zambia will never attain meaningful development if politicians continued engaging in violence against each other on issues they did not agree.

Ms. Mwale said her organisation was ‘‘patiently waiting’’ for a time when all political parties tolerated each other’s view without resorting to violence which did not only retard development but also violated the rights of people in the country.

She said that her organisation was worried by the  political parties’ intolerance towards one another, adding that the situation was likely to worsen as the country approached  the polls next year, saying the country may become unstable if nothing was done to arrest the situation.

“We believe that there can be no meaningful and sustainable development in a country where peoples’ rights are not respected. We are worried with what is happening in the country today with this culture of political violence which seems to be on the increase.

‘‘As an organisation, we are calling for an end to this because we want to see stability in our country at all costs,” Ms. Mwale said.

Ms. Mwale called on Government to enact laws that would safeguard the interests of Zambians and also review the Public Order Act which she said was a source of conflict among political parties.

She noted that successive governments had promised that they would review the Act because it was a piece of colonial legislation which had its own limitations but todate nothing has happened.

She said since President Edgar Lungu had openly declared his desire to have the POA repealed, it would be helpful that practical steps were taken to address the many challenges of the Act.

“Successive governments have promised Zambia that they would amend the Public Order Act but todate  nothing has been done to have the Act amended so that the concerns of the people are taken into consideration.

“The country is still anxiously waiting to see the results of the amendment of the Public Order Act because what is prevailing is different from what we are expecting because the Act is still proving to be a source of conflicts,” she said.