STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
INTERNATIONAL Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) executive director Frank Okuthe has urged Zambians to safeguard their peace by upholding laws of the land to
avoid the country sliding into civil strife.
Dr Okuthe said it is therefore good that President Lungu set up an inquiry on the voting pattern and violence during the 2016 general elections.
Dr Okuthe was speaking in an interview yesterday.
He said political parties must have a national character and not be strong in one region as that is a recipe for intolerance to others.
“The emergence of violent acts preceding last general elections was unprecedented in Zambia, and of great concern. Since I came here, I have witnessed the 2011 elections when the Patriotic Front won and MMD lost, and conceded. During the last election there emerged violent campaigns resulting in death, injury and displacements,” Dr Okuthe said.
Dr Okuthe has advised the Zambian government not to ignore the violent acts that happened during last year’s election no matter how small.
“Government needs to deal with this once and for all. Not long from now, Zambia will be back at elections. Zambians must not get used to violence. It should not become a norm,” he said.
Dr Okuthe urged Government to apply the rule of the law to the fullest as a way of ensuring the culture of violence does not take root.
“Zambians need to talk to each other and not at each other,” he said.