By KALOBWE BWALYA
THE Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) is concerned with the reported acts of political violence and clashes by alleged ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres together with Socialist Party (SP) counterparts in the on-going campaigns for the local government elections in Serenje and other localities.
SACCORD executive director Bornface Cheembo has said the continued acts of political violence is an indicator of the magnitude of the problem that as a country when it comes to political violence especially at a time when many Zambians were beginning to be of the view that have addressed this challenge as a country.
Mr Cheembo said Zambia just recently held the Summit for Democracy where the nation’s democracy was celebrated and these reported acts of political violence go contrary to the spirit of democracy where tolerance and peaceful co-existence are supposed to be the norm as opposed to violence. He however said the arrest of opposition political leaders, unless they have categorically come into conflict with the law does not help in fostering the necessary unity, harmony and promotion of human rights that a democracy is supposed to offer.
“Therefore, we appeal for de-escalation and restraint on the part of both the ruling UPND and opposition political parties as the continuation of a politics of violence only seeks to discredit the good democratic credentials that the country has built over the years.