By KAIKO NAMUSA –
FEMALE political stakeholders have condemned the violence that characterised 2013 and have implored political parties to learn to co-exist.
They said yesterday that violence was a hindrance to the participation of citizens, including women and youths, in the political and governance processes of the country.
This was in a communiqué on political violence issued by executive committee members of women’s wings and female members of national executive committees of political parties during the national women in politics project advisory group meeting organised by the Zambia National Women’s Lobby in Lusaka.
“We the leadership of the women’s wings executive committees and some female members of the national executive committees of various political parties gathered here at the Zambia National Women’s Lobby have noted with concern, the increasing incidents of political violence that occurred in 2013 in the country amongst political parties and sometimes within political parties,” the communiqué states in part.
Among the political parties present during the meeting were the Patriotic Front, United Party for National Development, Alliance for Better Zambia, National Restoration
Party, MMD, UNIP, and Forum for Democracy and Development.
The stakeholders said they were concerned that political violence was a serious problem that could not be ignored in the various political parties.
They observed that political violence was the main reason why some women did not want to take part in elections and political party processes.
They said this contributed to low levels of representation and participation of women in political processes.
“We recognise that violence, if not addressed, may tarnish Zambia’s image and the good record of a peaceful democratic nation that the country has held for the past 49 years since independence,” the communiqué says.
“As women in politics, we pledge to co-exist and collaborate despite our different political inclinations and views for the sake of contributing to the uplifting of the status of women in Zambia in political representation and participation.”