Political violence irks ZCTU

THE Zambia Police should intensify its operations and ensure that it deals firmly with perpetrators of political violence regardless of their political affiliations because the kind of violence the country is experiencing is a recipe for civil strife, the Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) has warned.

ZCTU President Nkole Chishimba said the country had experienced unprecedented levels of political violence ahead of the August 11 elections which could result in civil strife if left unchecked by the police and other stakeholders.

Mr Chishimba said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that ZCTU was deeply saddened that political violence had continued despite the vice being condemned by various sectors of society in the country, including President Edgar Lungu.

“We, therefore, call upon all stakeholders like the Government, the police who are charged with the responsibility of stopping violence to act professionally and ensure that, for the good of the nation, this trend of violence is stopped because it is a recipe for civil strife.

“Even in countries where civil strife broke out, it started like it is happening now where people from different political parties attack and injure each other. So this violence should not be entertained by a right thinking Zambian,” Mr Chishimba said.

He said Zambians must rise and condemn political violence and even vow never to vote for a violent political party because such a party did not mean well for the country.

“If Zambians vow never to vote for a violent political party even those who hire thugs to beat up people will think twice. Yes, they will think twice because the perpetrators of violence appear to be responding to their masters who hire them.

“If Zambians do not condemn political violence, perpetrators will not be discouraged. Instead, the violence may even worsen as we head towards the August 11 elections. We want violence to stop now so that Zambians can vote in peace. Every right-thinking Zambian should work towards stopping this vice,” he said.

Mr Chishimba said the ZCTU condemned political violence ahead of the August 11 elections because it might not only lead to civil strife or political instability, but also economic instability which would adversely affects job creation in the country.