THERE is a very serious need to analyse impact of organised political violence on economic growth.
In most cases, these forms of political violence are perpetuated by mostly young people influenced by selfish politicians.
I feel much obliged to look at, among other issues, the underpinnings of the growth impact of political violence in our contemporary society because the vice tends to radically lower long-term economic growth.
If not checked, political violence has the potential to affect the national development prospects and paralyse the socio-economic gains so far scored under the present regime.
It is gravely unfortunate that the pockets of violence ahead of the Mwanza East local government by-election were a mere attempt to defeat democracy despite reports that peace invariably returned later.
For peace to return, security were asked to beef up their presence in the area to ensure a peaceful poll as attested by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
This sad state forced the Patriotic Front to write to the ECZ asking them to cancel the poll after reports suggesting that suspected UPND cadres had attacked the ruling party campaign team in the area.
Another incident of violence was reported in Mulilansolo in Chinsali involving National Democratic Congress members and the PF.
Sixteen by-elections were held recently after resignations and deaths of incumbents, with the PF scooping 12 out of 16 government by-elections.
This is testimony that the PF was enjoying popularity among Zambians. Electing the party translates into the fact benefits of good governance were filtering down to communities.
Following a tie in the Kanongo Ward in Kansempa between PF and United Party for National Development (UPND) candidates, the returning officer decided by lot as provided by law and in that case, the UPND candidate Titus Nsakanja won the election.
The PF claimed five seats previously held by the UPND while the ruling party tied with the UPND in a ward in Kansempa.
The PF retained all its seven wards.
As PF secretary general Davies Mwila explains, the victory was a signal that the party was still popular on the ground and was sure of victory in 2021.
The PF is obviously taking over the UPND strong holds because Zambians were tired of the opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema’s politics of egocentric.
Mr Mwila said: “PF has defended all its seven seats, and further of the nine seats under UPND, the PF has taken five which means UPND only defended three out of nine seats as one seat in Kasempa is in dispute to be determined by Electoral Commission of Zambia.”
It is hoped that as long as the ruling party continues to meet expectations of the people who voted it into power, it will continue to win favour from the electorate.
At least, for now, this demonstrates how the opposition was becoming relevant to the national political platform.
The evidence to the above assertion is clear when you consider that Zambians still have confidence in the ruling party because it has continued to fulfil its promises.
The victory, which the PF continues to register, was an indication that popularity of the PF was growing across all parts of the country.
Government will continue delivering its promises for the benefit of Zambians irrespective of their political affiliation and that was the reason the ruling party was penetrating most of the areas which previously were viewed as stronghold of the ruling party.
The economic projects being implemented in all provinces of the country are a strong manifestation of the PF national developmental agenda, which include accelerated construction of the road infrastructure, ultra modern clinics, hospitals and secondary schools as well as many other capital projects designed to improve the living standard of ordinary members of society.
This demonstrates the ruling party’s determination and ability to deliver development to the people, a situation which has also attracted many people to defect from their sinking parties to join the only progressive political party in the country, when you consider the achievements so far attained within a short space of time in power.
I beg to support the notion that the recent by-elections to continue to show that self centered politics of insults championed by some misplaced opposition political parties will perpetually fail to yield results.
As much as we all condemn violence because it has no place in politics and role to play in the country’s democratic process.
Political violence has shown the perpetuators of the vice that the vice simply creates insecurity, frustrating voters from exercising their right to participate in elections and embarrasses the nation, which is like food to some especially those that perpetuate political violence for personal gain.
Political violence is like what cancer is to the human body. Players on the political scene have the obligation not to miserably fail the expectations of the electorate.
For fear that you misquote me, I know that political violence whether committed by the ruling PF or any other political party should not be supported in the interest of democracy.
All culprits implicated in savage acts of violence should account for their actions because exposing members of society to political violence was yet another form of adversity which must not be allowed.
The political parties themselves have the responsibility to impose discipline on their own members especially those found wanting.
While stakeholders are always making public statements condemning political violence, with the public reprimanding their own party members, let alone more urgent disciplinary actions within the affected parties was needed.
The sad thing is that the expected action from party leadership whose members are found wanting have been rarely reprimanding the involved culprits.
This should change for the positive democratic image of the country to continue adding value to our country’s outstanding record of being a glowing beacon of peace.
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