The continued political violence between the Patriotic Front and United Party for National Development cadres ahead of next year’s general elections is a drawback to the quest for a better Zambia, Chikondi Foundation president Bishop John Mambo has said.
Bishop Mambo said political cadres who were engaged in violence should be caged now because if this was not done, the nation would be engulfed in more political violence during campaigns next year.
“These political attacks the country is recording now are not only coincidental but planned by cadres who do not believe in peace and unity.
It’s my plea to all politicians, those in the PF, UPND, MMD and other opposition political parties to re-think the future of the nation – to rebrand politics as a tool for development and stop the violence now,” he said.
Bishop Mambo said both the PF and UPND leadership have a challenge to put their foot down and stop the violence and attacks against each other for the benefit of the general populace.
He said so far the violence was threatening the political governance of the country and it was time UPND president Hakainde Hichilema and President Edgar Lungu stopped their supporters from such acts.
Bishop Mambo said the clash on the Copperbelt a week ago between UPND and PF cadres was not an isolated incident, and had spread to Western Province where the UPND leader went for mobilisation.
He said the attack on Vice-President Inonge Wina’s household in Muoyo was a sign of ‘‘how intolerant politicians have become’’ by allowing their cadres to go to such extent.
Bishop Mambo said if leaders failed to stop the politically-inspired attacks the country was courting trouble ahead of the elections next year.
“We wonder what kind of a country politicians want this nation to be.
‘‘The violence this country is experiencing now is not just. It must stop now and it should come to an end now before this country is thrown into serious problems.
‘‘They (cadres) must be stopped now and create a culture of tolerance among one another,” he said.
The clergyman said it was shocking that politicians did not want to take responsibility over the ugly conduct of their supporters.
“No one is willing to take responsibility because the violence is ugly and was ugly. Police should stop these thugs,” Bishop Mambo said.