CALL TO ‘ARMS’
The brazen manner in which UPND cadres want to enforce “political discipline” is worrying and must be checked before all hell breaks loose.
They are drawing battle lines against other political parties which.
The UPND on the Copperbelt have banned PF member from wearing their party regalia and taking part in any national event that anyone who defies the ban will be beaten.
This is sending a bad signal that the dark days of political violence are slowly returning in which it was a taboo to wear the political regalia of any organisation other than the party in government.
President Hakainde Hichilema boasts of having brought caderism and political violence to an end but with the way things are moving, it is clear that the boasting is premature.
It is our desire that political parties learn to coexist where each political party is free to wear party regalia and only compete in ideas. But that dream seems to be far-fetched in the nation’s politics.
After last Sunday’s Youth Day celebration, the UPND cadres issued a statement warning their PF rivals that the amnesty period they gave to them has elapsed – whatever that means.
Democracy and multi-partyism allow for having multiple political parties and having free democratic space to participate in all national events and things that builds the country’s democratic tenets.
We feel if the UPND really stands for what they preach then they should adhere to them and the presidential decree to end caderism and punish anyone who acts to the contrary should be followed to the letter.
The violence that was witnessed during the PF’s tenure did not start on a single day, it started slowly and kept on building until it became uncontrollable as the election period drew closer.
We are seeing the UPND treading on the same path which if not controlled now will turn the country into a war zone come 2026.
We call upon the top leadership in the UPND not to remain mute when misguided cadres issue alarming statements that threaten the nation’s peace.
It should not be a crime for a person to wear political regalia other than that of the ruling party.
The country recently saw videos that were circulating on social media where the Shiwang’andu PF chairperson was attacked and assaulted by suspected UPND cadres in Lusaka for being in possession of the party’s regalia that he was transporting to the district in readiness for the Women’s Day celebration.
After being assaulted, he was taken to the Mandevu Police station where he was locked up. To date police have not made any arrests of the assailants.
This is what is probably giving the cadres more confidence that they can do anything as they are “shielded.”
Examples abound about incidences in which suspected UPND cadres have attacked radio stations trying to disrupt programmes featuring figures from the opposition.
Now the UPND cadres have taken a position that they will not allow the PF to participate in any national event and we wonder what will happen as the country draws close to the 2026 general election if the party’s top leadership does not control them.
It’s a call to arms that other parties will do likewise. What will follow?