The Patriotic Front (PF)’s failure to convince Zambians about their ideologies has resulted in the barbaric use of force and intimidating tactics as exhibited by the ruling party’s vigilantes recently.
Operation Young Vote (OYV) executive director Guess Nyirenda said the PF should reorganise its governance system because resorting to abducting and intimidating the opposition was not a solution to their growing unpopularity. Mr Nyirenda explained that the conduct of PF youth chairman Kennedy Kaamba, who with hundreds of cadres pounced on four MMD members at Lusaka’s Soweto Market was regrettable and uncalled for. “If the PF has failed to win Zambians’ trust, holding them under duress is not the solution. They want to use underhand methods to intimidate and force (people) them to say what they want to hear,” he said. He said it was unfortunate that young leaders with the potential to take up national leadership should be involved in outdated tactics which also undermine the rule of law.
Mr Nyirenda was reacting to the abduction of opposition MMD members among them die hard MMD youth chairman Borman Lusambo in Lusaka where hundreds of PF cadres lead by Kaamba forced them to apologise for opposing PF system of governance, I particular the removal of subsidies.
The OYV leader said instead of holding the people captive, the PF should devise a more civilised system of persuasion.
And Mr Nyirenda said the ruling party should know that time is coming when they would not be at the helm of power to defend themselves against the acts being perpetrated by their vigilantes.
“Kaamba should know his masters will not rule forever and since ‘umulandu tau bola,’ he should realise that he is making his bed now, he will sleep in it one day,” Mr Nyirenda said. Mr Nyirenda has cautioned the PF government over their already dented Human Rights image that such behaviour only confirmed the allegations on record.
He said the continued harassment of reporters has also worried the movement which has now questioned the motive behind the harassment of journalists from privately owned media houses.
“I urge Mr Lusambo and all those involved including the journalists to report these attacks and put them on record with relevant authorities to ensure that there is a record for investigation purposes in future. “Kaamba will not be protected forever, in fact he should be the one to apologise to the country for his behaviour which is undemocratic and uncivilised for a leader at his level,” Mr Nyirenda said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Nyirenda has condemned President Micheal Sata’s directive to the Minister of Education to expel University of Zambia (UNZA) students caught up in the fracas that affected the highest learning institution in the country. Mr Nyirenda said it was not the President’s place to cite disciplinary measures against protesting students whether academically or otherwise.
“UNZA has a well structured system of approach including how to discipline the students through the UNZA Students’ Union, UNZA Administrative Council, which organs are mandate to carry out such procedures,” he said.
UNZA students last week clashed in what began as a peaceful demonstration against the PF government’s decision to remove subsidies on fuel and maize which has resulted in high cost of living conditions affecting more than the 65 percent Zambian people who live on less than a dollar a day.