Editor's Comment

Cadres should behave

THE peace Zambia has enjoyed over five decades is a huge investment.
For a developing country like Zambia, peace and political stability are inevitable for the country’s sustainable development.
The peace the country has continued to enjoy has translated into political stability needed to attract foreign direct investments as well as local investments because of guaranteed returns.
It is the reason Zambia has continued to feature prominently on the Global Peace Index (GPI), placed 48 out of 163 countries in the world.
The 2019 ranking means Zambia is now among the top five African countries on the index alongside Botswana, Ghana, Malawi and Sierra Leone.
Zambia should continue maintaining peace and aspire to be the most peaceful country in the world.
But currently, this may not be possible going by what is obtaining on the political scene, where political cadres are having a brush with the police.
Although the incidents may be isolated, it is clear that as the country gets closer to the 2021 elections, they may be escalated.
This is not good given the country’s democratic credentials, which should not be dented because of an election.
There are several players on the electoral field, among them the Zambia Police Service, whose function is that of securing the rights of every stakeholder.
It is important that the political leadership of Zambia is way ahead of time in reminding the police of their vital role.
Ultimately, it is the political leadership that is responsible constitutionally to guarantee law and order, hence the call by Vice- President Inonge Wina.
This call is also significant as past elections have experienced pockets of violence. Commitment to a violence-free election must begin now.
The appeal is timely and the police should enforce law and order regardless of who the perpetrator is.
Police should have regular meetings with political parties to be on the same page and complaints raised should be judiciously attended to.
At no time should peace be compromised by lack of intolerance by either the police or cadres.
Therefore, Zambians should ensure that political intolerance does not negatively impact on
future generations. Peace today will always guarantee sustainable development in future.
Like President Edgar Lungu often says, no politician is worth dying for because of the sanctity of life.
From the isolated incidents so far, it is clear that there is a huge responsibility that lies ahead of civil society, political parties, the Church and traditional rulers.
Taking sides by the Church and traditional rulers tends to make other citizens uncomfortable causing them to resort to violence as a means of protesting such biases.
There is need for sustained sensitisation for all electoral stakeholders to co-exist because there is only one country called Zambia.
Police have a bigger responsibility to engage electoral stakeholders instead of being seen to be biased.
Police have to be neutral in all situations because theirs is to level the political playing field for the good of the country.
Political violence may be as a result of the police seemingly siding with one political grouping while neglecting the
others.
Most important though is for political parties to ask their members to demonstrate civility in their activities. Political party heads should take the lead and stop their cadres from taking the law into their own hands.
Elections will come and go but the country will remain. It should not remain tattered.



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