POLITICAL violence has no winners but is only a threat to peace and stability of the country and political leaders must firmly and loudly condemn the political violence that has characterized the campaigns in the last week, UPND youth chairman for administration Nonde Sikasote has said.
And UPND deputy spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo has said Zambians are not going to vote Hakainde Hichilema republican president based on his tribe but because he has demonstrated quality leadership traits and abilities in uniting the country.
Mr Sikasote said that violence often led to loss of innocent lives and the destruction of property apart from reversing the gains of democracy Zambia had achieved in the last 50 years of independence.
Mr Sikasote said the UPND youths were worried that violence was escalating just days before the presidential election and has called on political leaders both in the ruling party and the opposition to condemn the vice because it had become a threat to a free and fair election.
He said it was unfortunate that youths had continued to be used as tools of violence by some political leaders, cautioning that if the spate of violence that had characterized the campaigns in the last few days was not curtailed, there was a danger that the country could be thrown into chaos before and after the presidential election.
Mr Sikasote said Zambia was under spotlight by the international community and that if violence was not going to be stopped, there was a danger that the results of the presidential election would not be credible.
He said it was disappointing that in the past few weeks there had been an upswing in both intra-party and inter-party violence across the country and he called on political party leaders to strong ly denounce the scourge because it had become a threat to peace and tranquility.
“Now is not the time to apportion blame and finger pointing over the violence that has characterized our campaigns in the last few weeks. It is time for youths to extend an olive branch to one another and reject violence. We have refused to be used as proponents and tools of violence during this period and in the future. As UPND youths, we urge all peace-loving Zambians to unite and ensure that peace prevails before, during and after the presidential election next week,” Mr Sikasote said.
Mr Sikasote appealed to the youths across the political divide to put aside all their artificial differences and recognize that they were all Zambians and should therefore guard the peace the country had been enjoying despite different political affiliations.
And Mr Lifwekelo said the tribal remarks by Southern Province minister Daniel Munkombwe were not the position of the UPND and that Zambians should reject any form of discrimination based on ethnicity.
Mr Lifwekelo said while the UPND appreciated the decision by Mr Munkombwe to endorse Mr Hichilema, it was not correct for the PF provincial chairman to urge Zambians to vote for Mr Hichilema because it was time for the Tongas to take over the governance of the country.
He said Zambians were going to vote for Mr Hichilema because he had demonstrated that he had the capacity and ability to govern and unite the country that has been deeply divided. He said Mr Hichilema had always been preaching love, reconciliation and unity throughout his campaign trail and it was wrong for Mr Munkombwe to have sounded a tribal tone just when the opposition political party was concluding its campaigns.
Mr Lifwekelo said that Mr Hichilema had on countless times empahsised that he was going to form a government that was going to be representative of all the regions because he abhorred politics of regionalism.