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The grim report on political violence

FLASHBACK: COMMISSION of Inquiry on Voting Patterns and Electoral Violence Chairperson Justice Munalula Lisimba (left) during the inaugural seating at Nakatindi Hall in Lusaka. Second left is acting Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary Mutinta Hachiboya and Commission Vice Chairperson Mervis Chisanga (right). PICTURE: ANGELA NTENTABUNGA

JACK ZIMBA, Lusaka
IN AUGUST 2016 when we flew into Namwala, Southern Province, the extent of devastation was clearly visible from 300 metres above as the military chopper circled the sky before landing.
One could easily see the burnt-out houses on the banks of the Kafue and Namwala rivers. And as we came to land in a cloud of dust, there was no soul to welcome us, not even children, who would normally get attracted by the huge helicopter. Two scruffy dogs, abandoned by their owners, seemed happy to see us.
Chikwato village in Namwala was the scene of one of the worst political violence acts in recent times. About 30 houses were burnt in an attack by suspected supporters of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND), following the announcement of general election results that declared Edgar Lungu winner in the heavily-contested presidential election.
Many of the villagers managed to escape across the river to safety, carrying whatever they could save from their burning houses. Seven people were injured in the violence, one seriously. “They came with spears and axes,” one witness had told me.http://epaper.daily-mail.co.zm/

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