Never before has our country witnessed such gratuitous violence.
With each by election new levels of violence have been reached. Conspicuously absent in the fray are the Police who conveniently avoid confrontation with thugs associated with the ruling party.
In Chipata a councilor was abducted, driven to the Chadiza road where he was beaten tortured and later dumped and Police have done nothing although they know who abducted him.
Abduction, torture and physical violence are criminal offences, but the Chipata Police will do nothing, absolutely nothing.
In Solwezi, thugs set upon a group of UPND campaigners and undressed the women. Again the Police know who were responsible for these acts of violence and intimidation but have done nothing.
Our country is at the cusps of lawlessness. If the opposition chooses to oppose and fight back anarchy will erupt and nobody will be safe.
The tragedy is that lawlessness has invaded all our law enforcement institutions, especially those to do with criminal justice. People who should be in jail for fraudulent misrepresentation involving billions of Kwacha are now in charge of prosecution. What can we expect?
As a result we are witnessing extremes in abuse of law.
The Police are both too aggressive and violent when they confront the opposition as they did with the UPND cadres who wanted to stage a peaceful march to the Supreme Court. In that case the Police savagely brutalized un armed individuals whose only offence was to demonstrate in expression of ther views and conscience.
The same Police are less than willing to arrest and prosecute thugs that brutalize the opposition as has been the case in Lusaka, Livingstone, Mufumbwe, Kafulafuta, Solwezi and now in Chipata where the discharge of live ammunition at a public rally has been ignore by the Police.
It is obvious that the ruling party is using violence to cow and intimidate the populace into voting “properly”.
The violence need not be overt. It can be covert as was the case in Mufumbwe where firearms were discharged and an oppressive presence of armed men dressed in all manner of civilian clothes were seen parading polling areas.
To date the Police have not explained why such heavily armed men, dressed in civilian clothing were seen in Mufumbwe, and who indeed the men were.
Violence has indeed become synonymous with by elections and by all accounts the levels are likely to worsen as more people repudiate policies that are against their expressed interests.