It is sad that despite assurances from the highest office on the land-the Presidency, also the head of Police, Mr. Kakoma Kanganja and senior ruling party officials that electoral violence will not be condoned but the happenings of today acts contrary these assurances.
The reports of violence occasioned by the ruling party cadres on opposition UPND parliamentary candidate for Chilanga are very unfortunate. The question that begs an answer is whether or not political activities in Chilanga are not policed.
It is a common electoral practice world over that during campaigns, political parties share their campaign programmes with the electoral commission which later shares with the police in that particular area for easy policing those campaign activities.
Is the violence in Chilanga display of lack of knowledge of these activities from the Police or what is happening in Chilanga where rival political contestants are being attacked without trace of security presence just deliberate move from the Police? Or this is a sign of state security failure to police the electoral process and provide security to all citizens regardless of their political affiliations?
Zambia police has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it has the capacity, skill and the competency to police the electoral process in Chilanga. Is it that the Police Inspector General is failing in his duties or he is being undermined by his juniors?
We saw it on nomination day when, again, the police showed lapses in enforcing the electoral law when it allowed the breakage of the electoral law by the ruling party cadres which demands that only 15 supporters must escort the candidate into the nomination room by allowing more than 15 persons in the room.
Therefore, the violence in Chilanga today must be condemned and the police must arrest those involved, if truly it is an impartial service.
Written by McDonald Chipenzi