APART from violence, police need to clamp down on the kind of action taken by Patriotic Front cadres in Nakonde, and ensure it is not repeated anywhere else in the country.
It portends the kind of lawlessness that could easily plunge the country into chaos.There is nothing in conduct of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) that can, thus far, be interpreted to be partisan. Neither has the PF, including its leader Michael Sata, proved that the ECZ has engaged in any action that gives the electoral advantage to any one political party.
In fact Mr Sata is still smarting from the lies he told about an alleged cache of ballot papers hidden somewhere in Lusaka. Mr Sata's lie was unmasked when the printing of ballot papers started, a couple of days after he had said there were ballot papers in Lusaka.Evidently, the message that their leader was lying has not reached his cadres who have now set themselves the task of inspecting ECZ motor vehicles they suspect of carrying ballot papers.
This is dangerous.This dastardly action is also testimony of the manner in which PF leaders' statements for their party cadres to protect themselves and their interests are a step towards lawlessness and violence. What happened in Nakonde is just the unintended effect of these statements.Movement of ballot papers is not a secret operation and leaders of political parties should by now have informed their party cadres. What happened is a danger to the whole electoral process, and needs to be nipped in the bud.
The ECZ, and indeed all players in the electoral process need protection from the hooliganism that the PF wishes to unleash on the country through such actions. Such matters should not be handled with kid gloves. This matter needs to be investigated and those responsible dealt with.
Dealing with violence will not be effective if the police and other agencies wait for full fledged eruption before moving in. All acts that have potential to result in violent confrontation should be resolved before they bear fruit.The ECZ is right to state that it will not tolerate such acts of lawlessness that have potential to disrupt the September 20 elections. The police must ensure that this is so.