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‘Let’s stop political violence ahead of 2016 elections’

CHIGUNTA

MUNIDE ZULU, Lusaka
FORMER President Rupiah Banda’s political advisor, Francis Chigunta, says it is not President Lungu’s responsibility but everybody’s to stop violence ahead of next year’s general elections.
In an interview, Dr. Chigunta said it is unfortunate that some people are calling for President Lungu alone to stop violence in the country.
He said it does not have to take the head of State to stop violence, which can be done by all political parties and individuals.
“It takes you and me to stop violence and this is not the responsibility of President Lungu as some people have said,” Dr Chigunta said.
He urged political parties to be tolerant of each other if peace and unity are to prevail among them.
Dr Chigunta said political parties need also to be tolerant of differences of opinion adding this has been the leading cause of violence, especially by cadres.
“There is need to appreciate the spirit of democracy, hence the need to develop a culture of tolerance even when different opinions are shared amongst political parties,” he said.
Dr Chigunta said Zambia needs to continue maintaining its reputation as an oasis of peace in Africa hence the need for political parties to enforce rules within their parties that will teach them about values.
He said there is need to preach peace and unity, and not violence as the country goes to the polls next year.
Dr Chigunta also said violence creates tension and instils fear in the electorate, who may eventually shun casting their votes during elections.
He also called for the enforcement of the electoral code of conduct to help bring order.

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