Political violence, alongside tribalism, is becoming domicile in our political arena. While the occurrences of political violence are not as rampant as the discussions and apprehension of vice, the situation is increasingly worrisome.
Political violence will grow if all the political leaders do not take a more effective approach. Political leaders must show unequivocal antipathy towards violence. Violence will never stop if leaders pay a lip service and finger pointing.
We appreciate President Edgar Lungu’s status against violence whereby he has even warned his cadres to refrain. However, we still insist that more has to be done than mere talks. There have to be measures taken within the party to show seriousness. Such as disciplining cadres that involve themselves in violence within the party structures other than just leaving it to the police.
While we appreciate the concerns by President Hakainde Hichilema of United Party for National Development (UPND) over the political violence we uptight by the manner in which he is delivering his message. Other than quenching violence, his message might incense violence. A perception is being created that the Patriotic Front (PF) is out to brutalize and kill the UPND members. Such remarks by any political leader can be very inciting and provocative.
We also urge Mr. Hakainde to walk the talk by helping the police with investigations on the violence and theft which occurred at Cresta Golfview because his personal security officers were involved.
Further we doubt the capability of our Police for failure to investigate and apprehend the perpetrators of violence. Something must be seriously wrong in the police because crimes which are committed in broad daylight in the presence of a crowd are not being adequately resolved.
The failure by the police to effectively deal with crime attracts criticism, innuendos and speculations that the Government is abetting criminals. We need to see more capability and effectiveness from the police.
As we offer condolences to the UPND and family member for the loss of the Grayzer Matapa, we would like exhort the police to expedite their investigations and quickly inform the public what really happened and bring all culprit to book so that they face the law.
Transparency on Political Parties and NGOs/CSOs funding
Political parties and NGOs/CSOs are there to serve the people in transparency and integrity. This is why on our part we are insisting that the source of funding must be disclosed. This should start with the ruling party and all other parties.
NGOs/CSOs must also follow suit as they say he who comes for equity must come with clean hands. As an organisation we have tolled to find funders and most of the times we do not conclude out deals because our agenda is to serve the people but many funders have their own interests attached to their money.
The issue of funding must not be overlooked or ignored because it determines the future of the organisation and consequently the people. Political leaders and NGOs/CSOs become stooges of those who fund them instead of being independent to determine the future of the people.
Sooner than later we might see more division in PF because a lot of people that gave so much to the party and grumbling on the sides to be given what is due to them before the poor voters get anything.
We therefore call upon the citizens to insist that we have a law to compile political parties and NGOs/CSOs to declare their funding for transparency.
Constitution Making Process
The issue of the constitution is becoming like an old boring song. It is now a month since President Edgar Lungu went into office but nothing has moved. We urge the President to move on this issue by setting up a team of citizen representatives to look at the way forward.
Our proposal is that his process start moving but not rushing to finish it, because it is not just about a New Constitution but a quality of this new document. We are rather concerned with the emotional spirited and political attitude being exhibited by the Grand Coalition to enact a new constitution before 2016 through a referendum without serious contemplate a number of factors that goes with such a demand. It is important that we are reasonable and realistic in our demands.
We are also uncomfortable with the political blackmail that is going along the Constitutional making process. We have to be careful that politicians will ride on anything that can give them power but it is certainly no guarantee that they will deliver. Therefore collective efforts like that of the Grand Coalition would be better off without the political parties so that they carry the agenda of the people other than being influenced by the political parties.
It is clear that the majority of Zambians are going through a lot of hardships ranging from food, healthcare, shelter, education and other essentials needed for human well-being. While we appreciate the efforts by Government to put in place the infrastructure necessarily for development, there is an urgent need to save lives.
There seem to be no short term policies address the suffering of many Zambians. While we are looking for investors to come and build industries and other businesses, people need to eat, access healthcare and other essentials.
President Edgar Lungu must be forewarned that PF may not stand a chance in the next tripartite elections if the status quo remains unchanged. The last Presidential election results back this point unequivocally. PF should not think that their policies have impressed the majority Zambians because they are suffering.
We urge our President not to get comfortable in State House, he has to be more aggressive than what we have seen in the last one month to make things move. He has not time to sit in State House and get reports from his ministers because some of them don’t just care and they will fail him.
God bless Zambia