Violent parties embarrass ZCID

By Nation Reporter

THE continued violence among political cadres is embarrassing and disappointing, says Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue (ZCID) executive director Horrance Chilando.

He said it was saddening that political parties involved were members of the ZCID, an organisation whose ideals were well known.

“We are embarrassed really to repeat this plea for calm and civilised campaigns among political parties,” Mr. Chilando said.

He said it was important for political parties to realise that they stood to lose if violence continued because the vice could discourage voters from participating in the August elections.

“The electoral system has changed in such a way that it would require more votes to declare a winner than in previous elections. This means we must make every effort to get people to the polling booths,” Mr Chilando said.

He said ZCID would continue to address the issue of violence by conducting provincial anti-violence workshops, and going into districts to engage with the people on the ground.

“Violence begets violence and can escalate into uncontrollable carnage without warning. We should never allow our beloved country to go down that path,” Mr. Chilando said.

He said the ZCID looked forward to the enactment of the Political Parties Act, and urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to speed up its development, as it would provide a legal, enabling environment for democratic process.  Mr. Chilando said the centre had consistently called upon all stakeholders, including the Government, to help strengthen ZCID – a platform for democratic consolidation.

He asked party leaders to assist ZCID in achieving their objectives, and expressed hope that all members would heed and adhere to the organisation’s code of conduct.