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BELATED CONDEMNATION OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE BY THE PATRIOTIC FRONT SENIOR LEADERSHIP

Posted Sep 09, 2013

BELATED CONDEMNATION OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE BY THE PATRIOTIC FRONT SENIOR LEADERSHIP
Zambia has at last heard from senior Patriotic Front leadership on the issue of political violence.
After several months of violent conduct against Opposition Leaders and other stakeholders in the
democratic process, the PF Secretary General, Honourable Winter Kabimba, has finally broken his
silence to condemn the violence that has erupted within his own Party and which threatens to speed up the rate of the PF's unpopularity.
What is worrying about the PF's new-found concern about violence is that it is highly selective. It is
only being finally addressed because it is now being used against the interests of those within the PF hierarchy.
When Bishop John Mambo and Apostle Ndhlovu of BIGOCA were being battered within the sanctuary of a church building in Matero by elements loyal to the PF where was the voice of the
senior PF leadership? When Opposition leaders have been harassed and physically assaulted by
cadres in their desire to make public areas inaccessible by those who are prepared to challenge the
poor governance of the PF, where was the voice of the Secretary-General then? As the facts start to
emerge regarding the violence perpetrated in the recent Mkaika by-election, why has there been no
outright condemnation of violence as a whole?
Why was Andrew Banda (son of former President Rupiah Banda) charged with an offence when he had clearly been assaulted?
We urge the PF to remember that they are only in power at the will of the people and for the service
of the nation. In time, they will realise that the violence they condone when it suits them, may soon
come back to haunt them. Violence must be condemned wherever it rears its ugly head and not only when it affects those who wield authority.
It is the responsibility of every citizen to speak out against all forms of violence. The PF and every
Self-respecting citizen will do well to consider the words of the German Lutheran pastor, Martin
 Niemoller:                           
"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out-
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out-
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out-
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me-
and there was no one left to speak out for me."
Let us not destroy the peace we have come to cherish over the years. Let us all raise our voices
against political intolerance and the violence that it breeds. Let us demand that the government
empowers our police force to act independently and in the interests of all Zambians to arrest this
dangerous trend in our society.
 
 
Elias Chipimo
President
National Restoration Party (NAREP)
Monday 9 September 2013