EVANGELICAL Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive director Reverend Pukuta Mwanza has blasted media organisations inciting political party cadres to retaliate when provoked, saying such instigation of violence is meant to breed chaos in the country.
Rev. Mwanza said it was sad that some media organisations have failed to read the tense atmosphere in the country by calling for retaliation by those who felt provoked by other parties without realising the negative impact of such statements on society.
He said there was need for the media to be responsible by taking stock of what they were writing about before publishing or broadcasting, as negative political statements at this critical hour when the country goes to the polls could lead to civil unrest.
He noted that the spirit of retaliation when provoked should never be condoned by Zambians because revenge was never the correct way of sorting out differences as there was no yardstick for measuring victory between the one perpetrating violence and the victim.
“Agitating for members of political parties to retaliate when provoked has very huge consequences which we, as a country, cannot manage to overcome because resorting to violence when provoked does not solve anything.
‘‘For the media organisations that want to propagate violence, should realise that it comes at a cost.
“We should not allow a situation where we start supporting lawlessness because this can lead to civil strife and this is why we are still saying that we need to maintain peace all the time even when we are provoked.
‘‘Retaliating does not always mean that the casualty will be the person who started the fight. When there is a fight, there is no one who is an automatic victor so, it is wrong to portray revenge as a solution to being provoked,” Mr. Mwanza said.
He said there was need for people to believe in the police and the judicial system in Zambia by taking appropriate measures when they feel that their rights had been trampled upon as the Government had not failed to address challenges faced by people.
“Lawlessness won’t take us anywhere. We have the police who are ensuring that people abide by the law.
We also have the judiciary who are working on resolving our differences and these two entities have not failed to address these issues.
“Rather than resorting to violence, it is paramount that we let the law take its course by allowing the police to deal with perpetrators of violence.
Where we feel that we have been unfairly treated, there is the judiciary to listen to us by declaring who is wrong or right among us.
These two institutions have not said that they cannot handle our issues; we see no reason why we should start fighting unnecessarily,” he said.