SOME opposition political leaders have been sacrificing the lives of other people’s children and wives in their quest to wrestle power from the Patriotic Front (PF) while their children and wives are safely kept in their luxurious houses, Panji Kaunda has observed.
Colonel Kaunda has challenged the opposition political party leaders to ask their children, wives and other relatives to be in the forefront and show commitment to the cause of their political parties instead of using the children of other people.
Col Kaunda said it was unfortunate that the UPND had failed to be helpful in curbing the scourge of violence that has rocked the country, claiming a number of lives while the Patriotic Front (PF) and President Edgar Lungu had been preaching peace and civil politics.
He said in an interview yesterday that the UPND leadership had deliberately defied police advice against going ahead with their rally in Chawama but instead allowed their cadres to conduct an unlawful procession daring the police.
Col Kaunda said it was strange that the wives and children of political leaders were never involved in violent acts and were often kept safe in their homes while the children and wives of ordinary citizens were being coaxed to take the law into their own hands, hence risking their lives.
He said the best the UPND leadership could have done was to consult the police after their rally in Chawama was cancelled instead of encouraging their cadres to start marching on the streets, harassing people and molesting motorists.
“Violence must never be condoned and should be condemned by every citizen who is well-meaning. What is strange, however, is that the children and wives of us political leaders are never there when violence is being perpetrated. Our children and wives are often
safe in our houses but we are sacrificing the lives of children and wives of ordinary citizens.
‘‘Let the opposition political leaders get their children, wives and other relatives in the forefront to show commitment in championing the cause of their various political parties,” Col Kaunda said. Col Kaunda said it was wrong for the UPND to have attempted to defy police advice because for the police to have cancelled the rally, they had enough information that the situation was not conducive for such a political event.
He said the UPND instead vented their anger on the Zambia Police and verbally abused the officers for doing their work professionally.
Col Kaunda said it was important for political leaders to be civil in conducting their political campaigns and that time should dawn on the leaders to end the animosity that was characterising the country’s politics.
“Until we have political leaders from both the opposition and the ruling party begin to interact and share common platforms during State and national events such as independence, we are not going to solve the problem of violence.
‘‘If political leaders loved and respected each other irrespective of their political affiliation as we see it in mature democracies, that love and respect would trickle down to our cadres. When people see leaders interacting, they would not be getting pangas and begin hacking each other,” Col Kaunda said.
He said it was worrying that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema did not shout Zambia’s uniting slogan of One Zambia One Nation in his campaigns.