Tawdry  politicking


THE intimation by the President Edgar Lungu to institute a Commission of Inquiry to probe architects of politically orchestrated violence has struck a rich cord.

An inquiry by its very nature is to get to the bottom of the matter under investigation.

And it is plain truth that this year’s election campaigns registered a high record of political or electoral violence cases, hence the unquestionable need to find a lasting solution to this vice.

Certainly, it is in everyone’s interest to know the individuals behind the murder of the Kasama PF cadre who was killed after delivering 500 UPND defectors to the PF party.

How about the PF official who was killed in Chongwe? He too had delivered 300 UPND defectors to the PF. He died in a very brutal attack.

Then there is the chivalrous Mazabuka welder who was killed in cold blood as he defended a female colleague taunted by UPND cadres for wearing PF regalia.

Our memories are still fresh about the unfortunate political events that characterised Namwala district both before and after the August poll where perceived PF sympathisers were under attack in Southern, Western and North-Western provinces which are predominantly UPND strongholds.

These are probably the high profile cases of political violence this year and people need to know what instigated such violence.

Allegations by the Barotseland Royal Establishment (BRE) suggesting that the UPND sponsored confusion in Western Province justify the institution of the Commission of Inquiry by President Lungu.

Equally, it is undeniably vital to know how some UPND cadres lost their lives at the height of political violence.

Several civil society organisations and the Church have applauded the decision, calling it the right step towards ameliorating violence in the political sphere.

In one breath, the UPND president Mr Hakainde Hichilema rubbishes the setting up of the Commission of Inquiry as cheap politicking and accusing President Lungu for being chief warlord while the UPND vice-president for administration Mr Mwamba welcomes the idea. Why such contradiction?

However, the contradictory statements issued by the UPND top leadership on the subject matter are worrisome.

Why should Mr Mwamba and Mr Hichilema be jittery? Is it not in their interest to know what fuelled political violence, let alone bring the culprits to book? Does UPND tolerate violence?

We are left to wonder why Mr Mwamba should begin to insinuate that the setting up of the Commission of Inquiry is targeted at him and the UPND president Mr Hichilema.

In our considered view, it is in public interest that the inquiry should avail our people with information on what and who fuelled a high wave of political violence.

Much more critically important, there is need to bring the individuals who sponsored such lawlessness to book regardless of their status in society.

There is no way perpetrators of such heinous acts should go scot free after leaving some political stakeholders maimed, dead and internally displaced.

The UPND leadership should desist from issuing conflicting statements on matters of such importance and take it easy.

Pointing an accusing finger at President Lungu for merely hinting to institute an inquiry speaks volumes and in turn amounts to cheap politicking.

We disagree with Mr Mwamba for alleging that violence, lawlessness and anarchy has increased in PF under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu. Instead, UPND became more violent after some former PF members joined the party.

It is said that the guilty are always afraid.