That Government intends to send police to man private radio stations ahead of 2016 polls is a move well timed and long overdue.
This kind of gesture needs the support of all well-meaning citizens especially the opposition political parties who have fallen victims of harassment by unruly cadres. However, the question that lingers on is, will the Police live to the expectation of the majority Zambians especially those that belong to opposition parties?
The issue of unruly behaviour of party cadres who seem to have more powers than the Police can be traced back to UNIP era where its cadres popularly known as vigilantes took over all bus stations, supermarkets such as the defunct ZCBC and Mwaiseni, markets including schools in some cases. The coming of the MMD didn’t change things as its cadres seemed to enjoy more powers than the police.
The same can be attributed to the PF cadres who seem to enjoy immunity of some kind, and have been conducting their dirty activities in full view of the police. It is from this background that I write to question the rationale behind this manning of radio stations.
What more with the “panga” armed youths including those with guns? I can only wish the Police the best of luck as they embark on this venture which will be met by mixed feelings from sections of society. Government should also tame its youths and other political parties should follow suit. Elections are not won by how many people you hack, but by the message you transmit to the people. May the best party win the 2016 elections!