President Edgar Lungu has been commended by The Human Rights Commission for publicly stating that the Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND) were the main perpetrators of political violence.
Speaking to journalists at City Airport before he Left for Mongu yesterday, President Lungu observed that the (PF), and the (UPND), are the major culprits of electoral violence.
HRC Spokesperson Mweelwa Muleya in a statement said that the public admission by President Lungu demonstrates magnanimous leadership and willingness to end political violence and is commendable.
“The admission of a problem is the beginning of finding a lasting solution to a problem and it is one of the critical ingredients of peaceful resolution of any conflict,” Muleya said.
Going forward, the Human Rights Body is urging President Lungu and UPND leaderHakainde Hichilema to instruct leaders, members and supporters of their respective political parties to respect the provisions of the Public Order Act (POA) which is aimed at maintaining peace, law and order during public assemblies.
“Political Party leaders must in particular refrain from using provocative language and start respecting the rights, freedoms and reputation of their political opponents,” he said.
Further, political cadres should be directed, both during public and private meetings, to stop disorderly, provocative and unlawful conduct, including carrying weapons and other prohibited substances because that is against the Public Order Act.
“It is the hope of the HRC that the expression of commitment by President Lungu to dialogue in order to end political violence will receive the support of key stakeholders so that the country can recover from the continued political hostilities which are undermining respect for human rights and freedoms,” Muleya said.