By: Bright Chikele…
COUNCIL of Churches in Zambia president Bishop Alfred Kalembo has called on President Edgar Lungu to exercise his authority and urgently address political violence with seriousness and impartiality to bring the lawlessness being witnessed before the country becomes ungovernable ahead of the general elections.
And Bishop Kalembo says the government’s attention is focused on election campaigns at the expense of improving people’s lives.
In an interview, Bishop Kalembo said the continued political violence was a clear indication that the pledge by all parties at the recently held indaba convened by the three church mother bodies to end violence was not being honoured.
“We have noted that many political party opponents are still using hate speech for intimidation while party cadres dressed in military regalia are usually armed with weapons such as machetes and iron bars to attack others across various political parties, destroying property and threatening violence in marked territories,” Bishop Kalembo said.
“President Edger Lungu, as leader of the government, should therefore exercise his authority and urgently address political violence with seriousness and impartiality to bring the lawlessness being witnessed before the country becomes ungovernable ahead of the August 11 general elections.”
He also appealed to Zambians to refrain from engaging in violence.
“We wish also to appeal to the Zambia Police Service to take its rightful position as a law enforcer to maintain peace and protect the lives of the citizens, which are endangered by the prevailing political violence,” Bishop Kalembo said.
“CCZ is also calling on all political party leaders who were present at the indaba, which was held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross to honour their promise, which was an endeavour to advocate for violent-free political environment ahead of the elections.”
And Bishop Kalembo said the political environment had become increasingly volatile and had diverted government’s attention from focusing on improving people’s lives through developing the nation.
“Now all attention is focused on campaigns and name-calling instead of improving the people’s lives,” said Bishop Kalembo.