YOUTHS from four political parties in Kitwe have signed a communiqué to denounce violence and discourage ethnic division and tribal talk which they say is retrogressive to promoting national unity and the growth of the democratic space.
The youths, who are from the Patriotic Front (PF), the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND), Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) and Green Party, signed the communiqué to disown those who plan and execute violence on political parties and citizens who might not share the views and ideas of their respective parties.
The youth leaders from the political parties were gathered at Cross Roads Lodge at the invitation of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) with support from the Department for International Democracy (DFID) through the British Council and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy.
The signing of the communiqué took place at Cross Roads Lodge on Wednesday where PF committee member for the youth wing Mwewa Fisonga signed for the PF, while Copperbelt UPND youth coordinator Gerald Ngoma signed for UPND.
Green Party national youth leader Gideon M’zamba signed for the Green Party, while FDD national chairman for energy Jeff Kalobwe Phiri signed for FDD.
Reading out the communiqué, Mr Fisonga said the youths shall not tolerate any elements or sympathisers of the political parties to encourage violence and intimidation against any political party to enjoy their constitutional freedoms to freely campaign within Kitwe district and other parts of the Copperbelt.
“Having noticed that our political parties are slowly dividing this country in partisan zones through the new terminology of strongholds that make some parts of the country as no-go areas, we resolve to denounce violence and discourage ethnic division and tribal talk which is retrogressive to promoting national unity and the growth of the democratic space,” read part of the communiqué.
The agreement also stated that the youths were determined to join campaigns that promoted citizens acquisition of knowledge of the constitution, as amended.
“We have also resolved that we shall continuously interact with each other and speak in unison against political violence. We shall discourage our members from putting on military regalia that promote friction and militancy behaviour in our parties,” read the Communiqué.
And Kitwe district commissioner (DC) Chanda Kabwe said the youths who had signed the communiqué should stand by their resolutions.
“These resolutions are good and what is needed is implementation. We don’t want a situation where you, the same people who have signed this, to be found in the forefront of inciting violence,” he said.