WE ARE very happy that campaigns have mainly remained peaceful among political parties despite isolated incidents of violence, Lusaka Province Patriotic Front (PF) youth chairperson Kennedy Kamba has said.
Mr. Kamba said while there have been a number of attacks from disgruntled political cadres on their opponents, the campaign period has been generally peaceful as all political parties had been allowed to campaign freely without any interference.
He said the PF Governmnet was grateful to its cadres for listening to President Edgar Lungu’s stern warning against perpetrating violence and have exercised restraint by remaining calm even under grave provocation from their opponents, adding that other parties were also embracing peaceful campaigns.
He said the peace that has characterised campaigns for parties participating in this year’s election was what Zambians were looking for, adding that a few cases of violence scenes that have been witnessed across the country were unfortunate because they were an affront to the democracy of the country.
He said even the tearing of billboards and destruction of campaign materials for political parties especially in Lusaka had reduced after President Lungu asked the PF cadres not to retaliate when their billboards were destroyed by the opposition in order to serve as an example.
“So far, the situation is not bad. Yes, there have been isolated incidents of violence here and there but the political environment across the country is generally peaceful and incident-free. Even the destruction of billboards for all political parties has reduced here in Lusaka. It is not as rampant as it used to be and for this we thank all political players that are fostering peace ahead of the elections.
“As PF, we still want to urge our members to remain peaceful in line with what President Lungu has been preaching about. This is important because it is everyone’s duty to maintain peace. We all need to take it upon ourselves that we desist from engaging in activities that would compromise the peace we are now enjoying and so far, I think we have tried to do just that,” Mr. Kamba said.
He thanked the police command for working hard to ensure that perpetrators of violence were dealt with accordingly in order to prevent would-be offenders and has urged the service to continue with its vigilance on those who were taking the law in their own hands.
He called on all political parties to tame their cadres from engaging in unruly behaviour that would compromise the peace ahead of elections, saying it was everyone’s responsibility to maintain peace.
“The police have been exceptional in their discharge of duty. They have been impartial and decisive in dealing with political violence and this has greatly added to a reduction in violence and we urge them to continue doing just that so that perpetrators are dealt with accordingly to prevent would-be offenders,” he said.