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Of post-election violence

Torn Apart: BOYD PHIRI
IT IS sad that we still hear reports of political violence in some places long after the last ballot has been cast.
Of course, no-one bargained for extra time of violence in the game of politics.
Even if the last ballot cast was spoilt, the hood does not deserve the wrath of dissatisfaction in the game of elections.
The hood has been known to be peaceful since Zambia gained independence in 1964.
Even in the midst of familiar commotions of mobs chasing thieves across the length and breadth of townships, residents have remained peaceful.
You would say that thieves break into people’s homes in the hood almost every day, the truth is, no-one is left homeless.
You see, political violence can make people hysterical and force them to do things which they wouldn’t normally do.
Take for instance, men who have a strong appreciation for beer running away from a violent scene with bottles of beer in their hands only to forget their car keys on the counter.
This is not to say that imbibers don’t lose their keys or wallets in bars when there is no political violence.
The bottom line is political violence can make people jump up in fright and end up securing things which they think are important leaving behind more valuable items.
Forget about frightened mothers running away with dogs on their backs forgetting their babies at home.
Needless to say, all hounds in the hood also deserve rescue action in times of violence.
Imagine some men in sex dens forced to run away with shirts in their hands forgetting their pairs of trousers in their rooms.
I mean, who said that some cadres cannot extend their destruction to sex clubs?
Imagine sex workers running away from brothels with condoms in their hands forgetting to carry their shoes.
This is not to say that condoms are not important, in fact, some sex workers value safe sex more than their make-up kit. Perhaps this is why some look natural even under psychedelic in night clubs.
Think about retirees in the hood devoted to playing a game of nsolo forced to abandon their game and run away with stones in their hands forgetting their bicycles tied to poles at a market square.
Of course, you don’t expect these old folks to run as fast as young people when caught up in political violence.
In fact, old people suffer the most when teargas are fired by police during political violence.
Imagine a cashier at a public fee paying toilet forced to run away from his post with a roll of tissue in his hand forgetting a bag where he keeps cash.
This is what political violence can do. Sometimes, it does not spare anyone in its path, even pastors in churches can fall victim.
I am sure you recall one incident in Livingstone where congregants woke up to a rude shock to find that the inside of their church building had been coated with human waste.
However, it is unfortunate to hear that some villagers in Namwala have had their houses burnt by suspected political cadres and left homeless.
You can imagine how many years of toiling the victims of this political violence have lost.
Although some residents have managed to salvage a few valuables from their burnt homes, some of their domesticated animals have been left stranded while people seek refuge at government institutions like schools.
One of our reporters recently captured the plight of dogs left in deserted villages. Of course, this is not to say that chickens and goats are clever than dogs in these parts. Just kidding.
But, as observed by the reporter, only dogs have remained stranded in the burnt villages.
I hope those involved in humanitarian work there would also look into the plight of dogs. After all, hounds are man’s best friend.
Above all, the issue of post-election violence has raised concern in the hood. Perhaps, this is the reason why many patrons in watering holes have reduced the hours they spend in bars.
Obviously, they are not following in the footsteps of Zesco’s reduced hours of load-shedding, but the thing is, they have reason to fear the possible continuation of political violence.
We thank President Lungu for remaining steadfast in ensuring that this violence is nipped in the bud, even long after the last ballot has been cast.