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State breathes fire on political violence


TEDDY KUYELA, Parliament
GOVERNMENT has warned that it will clamp down on political party cadres from both the ruling and opposition political parties who have the habit of engaging in violence.
Minister of Home Affairs Davis Mwila said any party cadre who will be found engaging in violence will be swiftly arrested regardless of their political affiliation.
Mr Mwila said this in Parliament yesterday when he presented a ministerial statement on the violence that happened last week in Kitwe, where United Party for National Development (UPND), president Hakainde Hichilema and his supporters were allegedly attacked by suspected Patriotic Front (PF) cadres.
The ministerial statement was also in response to a point of order raised by Monze Central member of Parliament (MP) Jack Mwiimbu (UPND) who wanted to know what action Government is taking against the suspected PF cadres who attacked Mr Hichilema and his supporters.
in his response, Mr Mwila said Government is saddened by the continued violence among political activists, especially that they have even resorted to using firearms in public places.
“My ministry will not tolerate acts of violence for whatever reasons. This is evident by the action the police took throughout this incident.
“My ministry shall continue to provide security to all people living in Zambia without any discrimination. The actions carried out by the police throughout this incident confirm and demonstrate our earnest desire to uphold law and order without discrimination,” Mr Mwila said.
He said police are adequately equipped to contain all forms of violence in the country regardless of the status of the perpetrators.
Mr Mwila said people should understand that there is no-one who is above the law and that all political parties and civil society organisations should, therefore, follow the provisions of the law and guidance given to them by security agencies for their own safety.
Mr Mwila said political parties have a duty to stop their cadres from promoting violence as Government works tirelessly to uphold the law.
“The arresting of 11 people who were engaged in violent activities in Kitwe by the police confirms that this government is working hard to maintain law and order in the country.
“Mr Speaker, as I am talking right now, these people have been charged with offences ranging from threatening violence to obstructing police from performing their duties, assault, occasioning actual bodily harm and breach of peace. These people have already started appearing in court,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Sydney Mushanga has told Parliament that K450 million was owed to retired teachers as of April this year.
Mr Mushanga said the money is owed to teachers in form of outstanding terminal benefits, excess leave days, salaries and repatriation allowances.
He said 3,218 retired teachers had been paid their terminal benefits as of April this year.
Mr Mushanga assured that Government is doing everything possible to ensure that the retired teachers are soon paid their terminal benefits.
He said this in response to a question by Kalabo MP Chinga Miyutu (UPND), who wanted to know how many retired teachers had not been paid their terminal benefits as of April this year.
Mr Miyutu also wanted to know how much money is owed to the retired teachers and when the affected teachers would  be paid.

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