Civil rights activist condemns violence

By Nation Reporter

IT IS pathetic and beyond condemnation what transpired in Lusaka where the police and UPND cadres fought running battles leading to loss of life, says the Centre for Governance (CFG) president Patrick Mutanga.

He said the action by the police had placed the name of President Edgar Lungu into disrepute as some people had gone on social media to shower him with insults and accused him of having issued the directive to open fire on the opposition supporters.

Mr Mutanga urged citizens to avoid insulting political leaders, stating that was what was fueling much of the violence.

He said people must realise that elections were a political game with citizens deciding who should govern them.

Mr Mutanga said the electorate should not be placed in a position to feel it was a waste of time to participate in the electoral process because of the prevailing violence.

“I am impressed with what is happening on the Copperbelt, particularly in Ndola, where cadres of different political parties when they bump into each other, they will just disembark from their vehicles, each singing their campaigns songs. They will dance and shake hands; Lusaka cadres should emulate such,” he said.

Mr Mutanga appealed to the police not to use excessive force but exercise maximum restraint and urged the cadres also not to get excited.

He has asked the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to carry out a postmortem of the incident for the sake of peace.

“It is not the first time that, in many years, the country has undertaken a democratic process to usher leaders into power. Violence is not a good indicator on the international community who have highly rated the country as an oasis of peace,” Mr Mutanga said.

He said the electoral body should provide an oversight to the police on how campaigns should be conducted.

Mr Mutanga said presidents of major political parties must continue to condemn violence during campaigns.

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