28 February 2013

Zambia: Sata Condemns Campaign Violence

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has condemned the hacking to death of Patriotic Front (PF) Monze District Vice-chairperson Harrison Chanda in the Livingstone Central parliamentary by-election campaigns and urged political parties to refrain from any political killings.

Mr Sata said political violence would only cost the country the much needed development and scare away voters.

"The person who has died in Livingstone is a human being like all of us. Let us do politics without violence, if you can't convince people by talking, stones will not convince them, they will just scare away other people," he said.

He made the remarks yesterday when he swore-in new Foreign Affairs Minister, Effron Lungu, Roland Msiska as Secretary to the Cabinet, and Robert Kamalata as Senior Private Secretary in the Office of the Vice-President.

Mr Sata also swore-in a second opposition UPND MP, Richwell Siamunene, as Commerce Trade and Industry Deputy Minister.

The President said he would not take the stance taken in 1968 when former President Kenneth Kaunda and African National Congress (ANC) leader Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula signed the Choma Declaration to introduce a one party State at the height of political violence.

He said Dr Kaunda and Mr Nkumbula made such a decision because of wanting to ensure there was peace in the country.

"Zambia is very precious, we shall all come and go. Why are we killing each other? Stop fighting and stop killing each other. The blood of the person killed in Livingstone, does not show that its Bemba blood, or Tonga blood or Lozi blood. It's the same blood, like Tongas say 'bantu bomwe' (we are one people)," the President said.

And Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Nixon Chilangwa has rubbished claims that UPND officials detained in connection with the death of a PF official in Livingstone were detained when they went to launch a complaint against the ruling party.

Mr Chilangwa called on the opposition party to desist from issuing wrong and misleading statements in a bid to attract public sympathy through falsehoods.

About 30 UPND members including party president Hakainde Hichilema and Mazabuka MP Gary Nkombo who is campaign manager for Livingstone by-election were arrested in connection with the hacking of Mr Chanda.

However, UPND vice-president, Richard Kapita said at a briefing in Lusaka on Tuesday that the officials who were arrested were detained upon arrival at the police station when they went to report about the alleged violent behaviour of the ruling party.

But Mr Chilangwa told journalists in Lusaka yesterday that the UPND officials were found in a house where the alleged assailant had come from and ran to after committing the offence.

He said the PF official who was hacked to death was seated in a truck which was in a convoy of other PF vehicles which were going round Livingstone campaigning before it was ambushed.

Meanwhile, the PF has appealed to the UPND to be remorseful over the death of the PF official in Livingstone rather than defending themselves by holding Press briefings and using the media.

PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba said the PF found it disturbing that the UPND had spent 24 hours after the killing of Mr Chanda to cry for themselves instead of crying for the life they took away.

He said in a statement released by the PF director of media and publicity Chanda Mfula that such behaviour of selfishness and high level of immorality had made Zambians to continue rejecting the opposition party.

Mr Kabimba said the crime committed by the UPND in Livingstone was in line with the Mapatizya Formula which the UPND leadership had been preaching loudly with pride.

He thanked the PF cadres and supporters in Livingstone for being calm during the provocative period and urged them to leave the matter to the law enforcement agencies.

The party chief also expressed the PF's utmost condolences to the family of the deceased and assured them that the party would stand with them during the painful moment.

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