PARAMOUNT Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba-speaking people has observed that political violence has escalated in the country because some political parties have employed casual political party cadres to engage in the vice ahead of the general elections.
And President Edgar Lungu has said that he would peacefully handover power if Zambians were not going to vote for him in the August general elections.
Paramount Chief Chitimukulu said the culture of violence was an alien phenomenon to Zambia and was being perpetrated by political parties which were taking advantage of the unemployed youths to cause mayhem across the country for their selfish benefit.
Speaking when President Edger Lungu paid a courtesy call on him yesterday, the Chitimukulu said political parties should stop using youths as tools for fanning violence.
He said instead of training
youths to engage in violent activities, political parties needed to empower them so that they could enjoy their lives beyond this year’s election.
“This issue of political violence is an alien phenomenon to this country. Politicians are training our youths to engage in violence but what happens after the elections? Instead of equipping them for violence, let them empower them so that they can continue enjoying life even after elections,” the Chitimukulu said.
And President Lungu said he was determined to ensure that the forthcoming elections were conducted in a violence-free atmosphere and that he was not going to cling to power if he was going to lose the presidential contest.
The Head of State said his desire was to have a peaceful and smooth transition so that the peace and political stability that had been experienced with successive handover of power continued.
“The police are arresting whoever is involved in violence whether from the ruling party or the opposition. They are not choosing who should be arrested and who should not be.
“Others are saying, I want to use violence in order to remain in power but that is not true. If people do vote me out, I will leave peacefully. We want the same peace that prevailed in successive handovers of power to continue and so, I will not cling to power if am voted out,” President Lungu said.
And the Chitimukulu has appealed to Government to consider his chiefdom to be among the first destinations for fertiliser distribution under the Fertiliser Input Support Programme (FISP).
Paramount Chief Chitimukulu said it was surprising that despite his kingdom having good soils and abundant rainfall, it had continued to receive fertiliser late while arid regions seemed to be a priority.
He urged the Government to consider prioritising the area during the exercise in order to allow farmers to adequately prepare for the farming season.