Editor's Comment

Enough’s enough

THE decision by President Edgar Lungu to deploy the military to complement the Zambia Police Service’s quest to nip violence in the bud ahead of the general election is in the best interest of the country. In fact, President Lungu deserves commendation and the support of all peace-loving Zambians on this decisive move to preserve the country’s history and cherished peace, especially ahead of the election. “I have allowed other wings of the defence force to join the police in maintaining law and order in those points where we have experienced violence,” President Lungu said when he met chiefs in Mbala, who urged him to help preserve peace. President Lungu’s decision comes after the killing of two Patriotic Front cadres allegedly by United Party for National Development sympathisers on Friday. And on Saturday, police also arrested 43 UPND cadres in Lusaka after being found with offensive weapons at their camp in Kanyama. Four others were detained in connection with the killing of the two PF cadres. It is saddening and shocking that despite all these occurrences, some politicians are failing to see the reasoning behind President Lungu’s decision to deploy defence forces.
In other words, some politicians in their narrow-minded thinking contend that the killing of two people in Kanyama and cadres being found with offensive weapons do not warrant the deployment of armed forces. We wonder what else does. Some people have also expressed fear that the deployment of defence forces is meant to victmise innocent citizens. These views are saddening because they portray lack of respect for human life. The value of life is not in the numbers. Every human life is sacred and must be protected at all cost. We cannot have a situation where political party supporters are ambushed and killed right in their camps. In this case, the killers cannot claim provocation as a defence. The act was purely intentional and criminal. The danger of allowing such barbaric acts to go on without decisive action as the one taken by the head of State is that they have potential to spread like a wild fire. Before we realise, we could be talking about civil strife. Is that what some of these politicians want simply because they want to serve Zambians? For now, these thugs may have ambushed the victims in their camp, the next move if not curtailed may be ambushing people in their homes, workplaces and everywhere in public. It is said prevention is better than cure. The President has a duty to protect citizens regardless of political affiliation. Should he wait for more lives to be lost in a similar barbaric manner to act? Perhaps if those thugs were testing the waters to see if they can unleash more of their evil deeds, then the message from President Lungu is loud and clear.
He will not sit by and watch innocent lives being sacrificed on the altar of political wickedness.
Some political cadres have been heard declaring violence if their candidate does not win. This kind of mindset needs close monitoring. People should understand that in a democratic election, there can only be one winner. Needless to say, it is pointless to go for elections if certain candidates have already won. Political cadres need to understand that an election is won in the polling booth, not on the rally ground. As long as people have such wrong mindsets, it is a breeding ground for violence.
The deployment of defence forces will, therefore, help bring sanity to the volatile political situation as we count down to August 12, the election day. As rightly assured by Zambia National Service, the military officers are there to protect life. Innocent citizens, regardless of political affiliation, have nothing to worry about because the reinforcement of security is meant for their good. Only the architects of violence have reason to worry because their evil acts will not be permitted under the combined watch of defence forces and the police service. Time has come for all citizens to declare – in unison – that “enough is enough”.

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