HALT VIOLENCE NOW!
THE current wave of violence in public places and elsewhere does not bode well for the UPND, which has been promulgating the rule of law and respect for human rights.
On the ground, UPND cadres are bludgeoning political nemesis and anyone they suspect to be a PF sympathiser.
There is certainly contradiction between the pleasant declaration from UPND leaders and what is obtaining on the ground.
While UPND leaders are assuring citizens of peace and freedom, cadres are busy assaulting innocent political opponents in a calculated retribution agenda.
The social media has been awash with images of PF sympathisers being flogged on bare backsides in a manner reminiscent of slave punishment in the dark past.
Crude images of a youth tied down and being whipped mercilessly on the backside went viral last week, as the victim groaned and winkled in excruciating pain.
This was at the height of a stern warning from Home Affairs Minister, Jack Mwiimbu that no one would be spared for attacking political opponents.
Even after Mr Gary Nkombo, the Local Government and Rural Development Minister, made a back-up warning, attacks on PF members continued.
Indian nationalist, Mahatma Gandhi, who orchestrated a non-violent struggle once said:
“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”
Thus, those who are inflicting pain on opponents may feel that retribution through violence is good, but they are sowing a permanent evil seed.
There will be time when their nemesis will also have time in future to hit back in one way or the other and this could become a cycle.
Secondly, some victims have suffered permanent injury, which they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.
The biggest problem, though, is that the violence seems to be unbridled and is casting a negative aspersion on the new dawn administration.
It is also true that some criminals have taken advantage and are donning UPND colours to disguise themselves as they beat and grab valuables from innocent citizens.
They are also threatening to grab stalls and stands in the markets when, in actual fact, they have no authority to do so.
This has been happening despite two warnings from Inspector-General of Police, Lemmy Kajoba.
Mr Kajoba has in vain directed divisional commanders in all the 10 provinces to halt political violence.
Therefore, the new dawn government must resolve this issue in more practical terms than assuring the citizens of freedom, peace and the rule of law when cadres are still on rampage.
Citizens are expecting the government to end this vice once and for all!
The new dawn government will have no moral authority to condemn the previous government’s failure to control menacing cadres that took over the running of markets and bus stations.
It should henceforth bring all violent cadres to book and halt violence once and for all.