- President Lungu said the PF should not retaliate even if provoked by the United Party for National Development-UPND because UPND is a very violent party.
By PRISCA LUMINGU-BANDA in Bweengwa
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has urged the Patriotic Front (PF) to stop the nonsense of engaging in political violence even if provoked because violence would not help anyone.
President Lungu said the PF should not retaliate even if provoked by the United Party for National Development-UPND because UPND is a very violent party.
He said he would not allow people to kill one another because of political affiliation.
President Lungu said this in Bweengwa yesterday when responding to concerns raised by the Chiefs in Southern Province who claimed that they had never heard him condemn political violence.
The traditional leaders who were present were Chief Moonze, Chief Hamusonde, Chief Mwanza, Chief Choongi and Ufwenuka representative.
But President Lungu said it was unfair to say that he had never condemned violence when it was on record of him being heard several times denouncing violence.
He said he had condemned violence on different occasions and he had made it clear that a criminal who hides behind politics should not be given space in the political arena.
“You are saying that Edgar Lungu has never condemned violence, I beg to differ because I have condemned violence. I was in Kalabo the other time I issued a statement and said a criminal should not be allowed in the political space. They should be arrested, that I have said,” President Lungu said.
He said he had never heard Mr Hichilema condemning violence but instead he encourages violence.
President Lungu said the traditional leadership also had a role to play to educate communities not to engage in political violence.
He said a leader should speak against the vices or violence and followers should also listen.
And President Lungu said the quest of the PF government to gain infrastructure development and to connect the entire country would not leave Southern Province.
Speaking earlier on behalf of the traditional leaders, Chief Hamusonde said it was saddening that President Lungu and Mr Hichilema had failed to denounce political violence.
“We are worried about the relationship between you and your friend Hichilema. Why is it not possible for you people to get together. The rivalry needs to reduce,” Chief Hamusonde said.