IT is common sense that before you demand for equity in a particular matter, you must make sure that you are fair to others. Failure to do so will be rendered hypocritical.

We find it appalling that UPND which is busy crying foul about not being accorded a level playing field to campaign for the August 12 elections has itself closed up its strongholds to other political parties participating in the elections, especially the Patriotic Front.

It is no secret that the violence being perpetrated on PF supporters in UPND strongholds is meant to stop them from campaigning. The opposition party is trying hard to intimidate and scare off opponents so that its strongholds are impenetrable.

Social media is abuzz with videos of PF supporters being attacked by UPND cadres and the deafening silence from the UPND leadership is proof enough that it is a well-orchestrated plan with full blessings of the top brass.

But considering that this is the same clique crying foul of not being allowed to campaign in PF strongholds, we find it highly hypocritical.

UPND leaders are on record of bitterly accusing the police of working under instruction from high offices to cancel their roadshows in Matero and Chelstone in Lusaka which are known PF strongholds.

The police have unequivocally denied these claims and made it clear that UPND was free to campaign anywhere as long as laid down procedures are followed.

Police spokesperson, Esther Katongo said allegations that the Zambia Police cancelled road shows for UPND scheduled for Matero and Chelstone are not true and are misleading.

“As Zambia Police, we are advising people from political parties who are in charge of organising party activities to be informing political party leaders the truth as opposed to lies with a view of creating acrimony.

“What transpired was that the UPND in Lusaka outlined in their notification numerous activities in form of road shows which they intend to undertake within Lusaka and presented the same to Lusaka Police District Office.

“It was there that they were advised to present their notification to respective Regulating Officers who are Officers in Charge of Police Stations in areas where they intended to undertake their public activities.”

Clearly, anyone can tell from the police response that no one cancelled roadshows for UPND but were only advised on the channel to follow.

That aside, this is a party that has turned its strongholds into a no-go area for opponents.

That is why we agree with Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) president, Andrew Ntewewe that UPND needs to open up its strongholds to opponents other than crying foul over nothing.

Mr Ntewewe said it is hypocrisy of the highest order for the party to demand equity and a fair playing field in PF strongholds when it has closed off its strongholds for other political parties.

And like Mr Ntewewe rightly put it, other parties can use the barbaric behaviour of UPND as a basis for a petition.

“There is no particular part of Zambia that belongs to any party, every part of Zambia belongs to all of us. So why close off their strongholds from other parties yet cry for a level playing field in PF strongholds,” said Mr Ntewewe.

So, this hypocrisy must stop and a level playing field be created by UPND stopping its barbaric attacks on opponents so that they can also freely penetrate its strongholds.

Let all political parties campaign freely throughout the country and leave the choice to voters through the ballot box.

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