By SIMON MUNTEMBA
THE UPND has been advised to tame its cadres to prevent a bloodbath in the country as its members are reportedly engaging in violent clashes, including a shooting incident confirmed by police.
AS more incidents of violence, including a shooting in Kabwe, are reported in the UPND adoptions process, the party leadership has been advised to restrain its members from turning the country into a bloodbath.
Both the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and a cross section of society have condemned the recent violence recorded in the UPND adoption process in which one candidate was shot by suspected opponents who are also member of the same party.
The Evangelical Youth Alliance has warned that the chilling events of violence within the UPND are scary and should be stopped because this could spill to the general elections due in August.
Rev Moses Lungu warned yesterday that police should nip this in the bud because it has potential to spread to other parts of the country.
And PF Media Director, Sunday Chanda has cautioned Zambians to be wary of the intra-party violence being orchestrated by the UPND while its leadership pays a blind eye.
Mr Chanda said while the ruling party readily admonished any member who dared to cause problems, the opposition UPND remained mute on the violence rocking its primaries.
And a cross section of society has condemned UPND cadres for their “appetite” to shed blood during the adoption process ahead of this year’s elections.
The condemnation came in the wake of a shooting rampage by the UPND cadres during the adoption process which left their own aspiring candidate for Mkushi Pathias Kunda shot and wounded.
In the latest incident, Mr Kunda was ambushed and shot in the leg by UPND cadres from a rival camp.
Mr Chanda condemned the shooting of Mr Kunda and urged the police to arrest the UPND thugs before they caused loss of lives.
He urged UPND president, Hakainde Hichilema to tame his violent cadres.
Mr Chanda said the PF has noted with sadness the violent scenes that have characterised UPND adoptions across many constituencies with Munali in Lusaka also recording bloody scenes.
He said the UPND supporters from Mike Mposha and Lilly Mutambo camps also clashed in Lusaka’s Munali Constituency.
“We have noted with shock, fear and sadness the events unfolding in UPND during its adoption process. Violence and corruption have characterised the process with rival UPND camps resorting to shooting and hacking each other,” Mr Chanda said.
He also disclosed that the incumbent MP in Sikongo Constituency, Mr Likolo Ndalamei allegedly beat up party officials and tore UPND documents after he came last in their primaries
In Bweengwa Constituency, Mr Chanda added, UPND aspiring candidate Mubambe Muchende was chased and nearly beaten by supporters of incumbent, Kasautu Saiti Michelo.
Economic and Equity Party (EPP) president, Chilufya Tayali has also condemned the barbaric acts said it was sad that adoption under the UPND ticket was a matter of life and death.
Mr Tayali wondered why only in UPND people were shooting and hacking each other over adoptions when other political parties like the PF were competing peacefully.
“Candidates have complained of being asked to pay a lot of money to get adopted. This shows that my Presidency and that of my counterpart, President Edgar Lungu is good leadership while HH is a big failure,” he said.
And Reverend Lungu said the shooting incident amongst UPND members showed that it was the most violent party the country had ever had.
Rev. Lungu has since called on the police to bring to book the culprits behind the shooting of Mr Kunda saying such acts are retrogressive and goes against the tenets of national development and peacebuilding.
He said he was disappointed with the behaviour of UPND cadres engaging themselves in political violence instead of embracing peace and unity.
Meanwhile, Central Province Police Commissioner Chola Katanga confirmed that the police received a reported of suspected shooting incident involving Mr Kunda but could not verify as the victim was not cooperative.