ZAMBIA will be going to the polls next year as it has been the trend after five years when the general elections are held. The various political parties will take part in the elections with their aspirants vying for the positions against their rivals.
The aspirants will contest at the local government, parliamentary and presidential levels.
The fact of the matter is that there can only be one winner in a particular election. The candidate who garners the highest number of votes is declared the winner.
The elections are supposed to be peaceful. This is because the outcome of the elections represents the will of the people in any democratic state. But, the elections can be marred with political violence.
Political violence in whatever form regardless of the perpetrators is not good and it should not be condoned. The simple question begging for an answer is, “why should people fight because of politics?”
The point worth noting is that Zambia is bigger than any political party in the country.
Some people are maimed and others slain as a result of political violence particularly during the election period. If this is not bad enough, political violence prior to voting has the potential to scare away the voters thereby causing voter apathy.
Some people would rather stay at home on the polling day than risking their lives from attacks by the political cadres.
Political violence which becomes a common feature during the elections is detrimental to the economic development of the country as it erodes investor confidence. Foreign investors cannot invest in a country where there is political instability occasioned by political violence in some instances.
It is however, mind boggling that the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) cadres and their opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) counterparts have been the major culprits of political violence.
On this score, I implore the leadership of these political parties to advise their cadres to desist from political violence.
President Edgar Lungu has from time and again denounced political violence. President Lungu warned that the perpetrators of political violence will face the full wrath of the law; there will be no sacred cows when it comes to political violence which is predominantly a common feature during elections.
I earnestly appeal to the political parties that will participate in next year’s elections not to condone political violence. This will entail peace before, during and after next year’s general elections.