Images of Patriotic Front (PF) and opposition United Party for National Development leaders (UPND) mingling freely and exchanging pleasantries made very heartening reading. It is not often that the green and red shades of our political specie sit together and bask in light-heartedness. Things are so bad that the PF and UPND have become the single-most threat to political stability in the country. Even when the already dominant bigger brother in PF enjoys some measure of popular support in Lusaka and the UPND has been on the mountain top claiming newer dominance it has not been easy to just leave it to the electorates to make their final verdict.
The UPND has been playing the victim card in the violence shenanigans while the PF has also played ignorant to its members instigating violence. Sadly in all this the Zambian mass have not been given a say to determine who is at fault. Both political parties have ruthlessly played the blame game. The real victims in this equation are ordinary Zambians. It is the poor bystanders who have been on the brunt of this senseless political violence. The ordinary people that these two political parties are trying to coax into voting for them. To finally see some light in the PFs Stephen Kampyongo and the UPND’s Obvious Mwaliteta among others warmly interacting could be an opportunity to consolidate some semblance of normalcy in our politics. After all both parties have repeatedly preached peace whilst being the purveyors of violence.
President Edgar Lungu and his UPND counterpart Hakainde Hichilema have often times rendered the signal to their disciples by embracing each other publicly but that has not subbed off on their supporters. Why do the ordinary political party cadres have to be the ones desperate to clobber each other in the name of Hichilema and President Lungu? President Lungu and Hichilema have no problem dropping by each other and exchange pleasantries while lowly placed cadres preach and practice violence on each other. How much more signals do they need before they can embrace politics of civility? Even the pretence of a truce seen on Friday could bear some fruit of both political parties are sincere in their dealings.
Our appeal is that this commitment to peach and nonviolence should transcend cosmetic boundaries. No one needs those commanders that wield so much power and influence in propelling violence among political party youths. Are people not tired of seeing fallen former violence vessels like William Tekere Banda, Scorpion Kadobi and Chris Chalwe among others? Let there be politics of civility as everyone gears to prop up their candidates in the July 26 mayoral election and beyond. May the best candidate win!