Kitwe NGO speaks against retribution

By Nation Reporter

POLITICAL parties which are threatening the current regime with imprisonment are clearly sending a message to Zambians that their ascendancy to power will be motivated and characterised by retribution and malicious prosecution of innocent people, a Kitwe-based civil society organization (CSO) has said.

Centre on Human Rights and Democracy Development (CHRDD) executive director Francis Nyirenda said his organisation strongly condemned politicians whose ascendancy to power would be motivated and characterised by vengeance.

Mr Nyirenda said in a statement to the Daily Nation in Kitwe yesterday that his organisation was saddened by some politicians who had resorted to hate speech, insults and tribal remarks.

“As Centre on Human Rights and Democracy Development, we are calling on all political parties to embark on issue-based and peaceful campaigns. We are saddened by some politicians who have resorted to hate speech, insults and tribal remarks.

“We are aware of some political parties who are threatening the current regime with imprisonment. As such, we condemn such politicians whose ascendancy to power will be motivated by retribution, vengeance and malicious prosecution of innocent people,” he said.

Mr Nyirenda said his organisation had a duty to remind politicians that Zambia has enjoyed peace in the region and cannot afford to see anarchy being perpetrated by few selfish individuals.

He said Zambians have to preserve the rich history of peace of the country and have to take this opportunity to warn politicians to desist from declaring victory before the printing of the ballot papers and adoption of candidates had been done by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).

“It is very dangerous for anyone to claim they have won before votes are cast and the counting process is completed. It is common sense that some party cadres will always follow their leaders’ pronouncements and this has the potential to cause anarchy in our beloved country.

“We want to assure the political parties that there are institutional offices entrusted by our laws to execute their functions diligently and these authorities must be respected and allowed to operate independently without political interference,” Mr Nyirenda said.

He said his organisation would not hesitate to campaign against any candidate or party preaching violence and insults.

“We call for calm and peaceful campaigns. Political parties must concede defeat in an event that they lose. We are not going to allow political rhetoric and selfishness to take centre stage at the expense of national unity, peace and development,” Mr Nyirenda said.

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