The Christian Coalition Monitoring Group shall consider engaging political parties in an indaba to address political violence, says Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) secretary general and CCMG spokesperson Father Cleophas Lungu.
He said this after addressing a stakeholder’s engagement meeting on this year’s electoral process at the ZEC secretariat.
Political party representatives present during the meeting expressed desire to address the problem but condemned some faith-based organisations whom they said were taking sides in the matter.
Father Lungu said having witnessed violence in the country, the coalition appealed to all political parties to refrain from such acts.
“CCMG appeals to all political parties to refrain from acts of violence including hate speech, physical violence and harassment and declaring ‘no go zones’ during campaigns,” he said.
He called on political parties to observe and abide by the rule of law.
He told the meeting attended by political parties, media houses and civil society organizations that the position of faith-based organizations on national matters must always be neutral.
A number of political parties who deliberated during the meeting condemned violence but could not take responsibility for the violence and were quick to blame other political parties.
Some of the opposition political parties called on the ECZ and police to attend the coalition’s meetings which had an opportunity to deliberate on violence.
The Christian Coalition Monitoring Group is undertaking a long term monitoring activity of Zambia’s electoral and political environment and the stakeholders meeting was intended to report its findings to the public.
The coalition comprises of the Council of Churches in Zambia, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection and the Zambia Episcopal Conference which launched a monitoring consortium on 28th November 2014.