NO single political party should have monopoly over national events, says Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) executive director Boniface Cheembe.
He said in an interview yesterday that the clash between UPND and PF cadres during the Youth Day celebration was not only regrettable but also saddening because national events do not belong to any single political party but all citizens.
Mr Cheembe said this was the first time that many political parties had turned up in numbers as most of them were previously boycotting the event due to the fear of violence.
He said there was a Government programme that was supposed to be adhered to by all political parties instead of political parties owning the event.
“As SACCORD, we are deeply saddened with the violence that we saw during the Youth Day; it is not only saddening and regrettable but also despicable. National events such as the Youth Day do not belong to a single political party but all citizens.
‘‘This was the first time that we saw a number of opposition political parties participate unlike in the recent past when they boycotted such national events,” Mr Cheembe said.
He said it was ‘‘impunity against the President’’ for political party cadres to continue being violent when there have been calls for co-existence between rival parties despite different political ideologies.
“I would like to call on the police to quickly investigate the matter and for the masterminds of the violence to be brought to book so that this chaos is put to a stop,” he said.
Mr Cheembe also said it was unnecessary to ban party regalia as the paramount existence of political parties was tolerance.
On Saturday during the Youth Day celebrations, PF and UPND cadres clashed and were only dispersed by the police after they fired teargas canisters, resulting in a stampede in which scores of people were injured.