ON Tuesday, there was a reported incident of PF Kanchibiya constituency parliamentary candidate Sunday Chilufya Chanda’s campaign vehicle being attacked by the convoy of UPND president Hakainde Hichilema as the two met along Katuba area.
On Thursday, during the day, members of the UPND Alliance whilst conducting the road show went on rampage to go after their opponent, the PF. There are reports that were indicating that property was lost and there are PF members who were assaulted in the process.
There are also reported incident that on the same day, the UPND entourage went on a looting spree and the Yalelo fish agency along Zambezi Road in Ng’ombe compound opposite Miracle Life Church on the basis of having the PF poster.
The UPND political activities are now becoming a security issue.
We have not forgotten that in the past UPND have been playing victim game and have pleaded for the need for a level playing field. We expect them to reciprocate with tolerance to those who have divergent views and condemn violence as it comes.
It is surprising that critical institutions of Government such as the Human Rights Commission, the Church and the civil society have all paid willful blindness to the bloody spilling process.
We need the collective voice from the various stakeholders as it has been in the past. We understand so far only Chief Cooma and Chief Chikanta of Choma and Kalomo respectively have condemned the violence, demanded for coexistence and have called on the arrest of the perpetrators.
It is also shocking that even Mr Hichilema and members of his inner circle have not shown leadership to condemn this inhuman behaviour. This is their vivid opportunity to redefine their reputation which has a chaotic history.
It is not a secret that the principal perpetrators of violence among the UPND ranks are well known to the party leadership. Moreover Zambia is a Christian and democratic nation which has established traditions on how to implement electoral processes.
As a political party which claim to be a law abiding organisation, UPND should take a proactive role and file a criminal complaint against unruly cadres and where possible hand them over to the police for action.
As regards the police command, we expect them to guide the political stakeholders regarding the potential criminal liability which may arise in intra party elections. It is not acceptable for the dead silence on the violence that has been awash on social media.
The police have assured that they will be equal to the task ahead of the elections and we challenge them to show their ability by restoring intra party order.
It is a grave disappointment for a political party aspiring to rule shield the perpetrators of political violence. President Edgar Lungu has consistently denounced violence and called on relevant authorities to act and we urge Mr Hichilema to emulate him by surrendering unruly cadres to the police.
We urge the UPND alliance members to also take inventory and audit of the supporters who were part of the convoy and lead by example.
MARVIN CHANDA MBERI,