By KETRA KALUNGA
BLOODSHED should be avoided at all cost by political players campaigning for the August 12 elections, former Vice President, Enock Kavindele has said.
Mr. Kavindele said violent election campaigns deny electorates an opportunity to listen and scrutinise political messages from various political parties that would influence their vote.
He said in an interview that to avoid bloodshed, political parties should avoid provocation of any kind and focus on issue-based campaigns.
Mr Kavindele said political violence should be avoided because it causes permanent scars which result in civil strife being the order of the day. He also said citizens could be scared from exercising their right to vote and result in voter apathy.
Mr Kavindele wondered how electorates could make an informed decision before voting if all they witness was violence.
“Provocation in whatever form causes disagreements which result in violence, Zambians especially youths should realise that we’ve got only one country which must be maintained peacefully,” he said.
Mr. Kavindele also said once violence sets in, it’s difficult for political parties to reconcile hence the need to denounce the violence and prevent bloodshed before, during and after the August elections.
He has urged political parties to ensure issue-based campaigns and avoid character assassination as the sell their manifesto to the electorates.
Mr. Kavindele said the ruling Patriotic Front must ensure that they tell Zambians what they have done and the opposition what they would do as they conduct campaigns.
“There are many countries that have gone through strife and up to now they still have failed to reconcile and violence is not good for investment, no one would want to invest in a country that goes to war,” he said.