The Civil Society Constitutional Agenda (CISCA) has condemned political violence which usually characterises elections at various levels and sometimes directed at political party leaders in Zambia.
CISCA Chairperson John Mambo said the violence affects everyone since the world has now become a global village.
Reacting to the alleged beating of opposition Democratic Party (DP) leader Harry Kalaba by suspected Patriotic Front (PF) cadres in North-western province recently, Bishop Mambo said it was sad that such acts of violence were still being entertained in the country even after 54 years of political independence.
“People need to have freedom of expression, assembly and movement regardless of different churches and we all worship the same God. Regardless of different political parties, we all have Zambia as our mother country,” he said.
He stated that Zambians should not think that violence targeted at individuals would not be known by the whole world.
“Like xenophobic attacks taking place in South Africa, the world knows about it and Zambia cannot afford to keep fooling itself,” he said.
Bishop Mambo further said freedom of movement and expression among others, were some of the reasons why Zambia’s forefathers fought against British colonialists.
And the Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSDE) has also condemned the alleged attack on the DP president.
ZCSDE Executive Director Pascal Bwalya observed that the attack on opposition political party leaders has hindered them from making their manifestos known to members of the public.
“Everyone, including politicians, should practice politics with civility where there is respect of human rights for one another,” he said.
Mr. Bwalya also said it was disheartening that people were being attacked for expressing themselves.
He has therefore urged Zambians to realise that they are in a multi-party system where divergent opinions should be respected amid different political party affiliations.
On March 29, 2019, suspected PF cadres blocked Kalaba and his entourage at the Kasempa turn-off from Solwezi and attacked the team saying North-western province was a no-go area for anyone fighting President Edgar Lungu.
Kalaba and his entourage later reported the matter to the police.