UPND cadres must learn the dos and don’ts of being the party in government, what is expected of them. Being unruly is not one of them.
Certainly, not even the commotion they caused in Kasempa last week puts them in good stead with the public.
At a time that they need to be at their best behaviour and allow their party to settle in government, they are instead being a nuisance by their uncouth behaviour.
Their conduct at the Kasempa Township Council when they tried to remove some management officials alleging that they belonged to the Patriotic Front must be condemned.
It was an affront on democracy and what the country stands for.
They ought to understand that the council management is made up of professional technocrats who do not owe allegiance to any political party. They also ought to realise that the chairperson of the council is elected by the public from the contending political parties, who we assume was elected on the UPND ticket.
Whatever instigated them into raiding the civic centre and forcing out some officers on allegations that they were PF appointees is unacceptable and smacks of mob psychology which thrives on ignorance.
We are glad that the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Gary Nkombo has been quick to condemn the behaviour of the UPND cadres without mincing words.
Mr Nkombo said in a statement that it is unfortunate that a group of political cadres could besiege the premises of the local authority.
The minister, while expressing his displeasure noted that cadres further demanded for the removal of council management members and other employees which is contrary to the Local Government Act No2 of 2019 under section 69(1) of the laws of Zambia.
Mr Nkombo said he was saddened by the uncalled for behaviour by the cadres who disrupted the peaceful work atmosphere at the civic centre in their quest to remove council employees suspected to be members of the previous administration.
He pointed out that local authorities play a critical role in service delivery to the people on behalf of the Central Government, and employees should be allowed to work professionally in a peaceful environment.
Lest the nation has forgotten, is this not reminiscent of an incident in recent years during which PF cadres invaded a government building and attacked an officer they accused of being sympathetic to the UPND, then in opposition?
Political cadres must be told that they do not have powers to attack any government employee on account that they belong to a different political party.
The civil service and quasi government institutions are nonpolitical and their employees serve the government of the day. They should not be subjected to discrimination by political cadres.
But like Mr Nkombo noted, we too are surprised that police did not arrest any of the miscreants at the Civil Centre.
How could this be so? The cadres even had the audacity to lock the gate and the police who were at the scene could not make any arrest.
We call on the Police Command to investigate the conduct of their officers on the ground for failing to act in a professional manner.
Political cadres who misbehave must not be treated with kidsgloves. Only by putting them in their rightful places will they learn how they should conduct themselves.